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Danbury High Soccer Team Disqualified From State Title Game

Danbury High School's boys soccer team was disqualified from playing in Saturday's Class LL championship game. The Hatters used an ineligible player in Tuesday's semifinal win over Shelton.
Danbury High School's boys soccer team was disqualified from playing in Saturday's Class LL championship game. The Hatters used an ineligible player in Tuesday's semifinal win over Shelton. Photo Credit: Darien Athletic Foundation

DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury High School's boys soccer team has been disqualified from playing in Saturday's Class LL championship game because of an ineligible player, according to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Shelton, which lost to Danbury, 4-2, in the semifinals, will now play Farmington in Saturday's title game at Willow Brook Park.

The CIAC said Danbury was disqualified when it was discovered the Hatters used a player in its win over Shelton who was deemed ineligible due to an error with report cards.

Danbury's use of the ineligible player was confirmed Friday morning.

In a letter to Danbury parents, Principal Dan Donovan said students are not eligible to play until the “issuance of a report card.” The first marking period closed on Nov. 4, and the student's grades were reviewed on Nov. 7 by athletic director Chip Salvestrini and the district’s CIAC Eligibility Coordinator. It was determined that the student had met and exceeded all of the requirements of both CIAC and Danbury Public Schools to participate in the game.

Donovan said after providing CIAC with the information as to how the school determined the player's eligibility, the school was told the player was ineligible because the student did not have a paper copy of the report card in hand before the semifinal game against Shelton was played.

"I immediately contacted CIAC and made an appeal this morning on the grounds that electronic grades were available to students as our marking period closed on Nov. 4,'' Donovan said. "The CIAC denied the appeal and, as a result, the win was vacated and our team will not advance in the tournament.

"I am extremely disappointed in the decision and am heart-broken that our students are being punished for an interpretation that we do not agree with,'' Donovan added. "However, there is no additional appeal to be made and so the decision by CIAC is final."

Danbury last played in the state title game in 1998, when it shared the title with E.O. Smith of Storrs.

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