‘It’s devastating’: After appeal, Holly Springs football team officially banned from postseason play

Wake County News

Thursday, Chase Honeycutt’s senior season with Holly Springs High School football officially came to an end.

“It’s devastating,” Honeycutt said. “We don’t even get to strap on the pads one more time, go out there, play as brothers.” 

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association confirmed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order to permit the Golden Hawks to participate in the NCHSAA playoffs was denied. The Association’s Commissioner Que Tucker also told CBS 17 in a statement the organization “has no further comments at this time.” 

Last week, details emerged about a self-reported violation involving an ineligible player.

“A lot of work went into this season, and just to know it all kind of crumbled away very fast, it’s just kind of heartbreaking to think about,” Holly Springs Senior Shane Perry said. 

Senior players, like Hunter Sauls, want answers. 

“I wish somebody would own up to what happened,” Sauls said. “We still haven’t gotten any answers of who made the mistake, or really what mistake was made.”

Parent Tom Livolsi said one reason the appeal was denied was due to a lack of support from the school.

“I think this rubbed a lot of the community the wrong way,” Livolsi said. 

He said parents first came to the school’s principal, Robert Morrison, before hiring an attorney and filing an appeal on their own. 

“We had written documentation for him, as to what our validity was, and why we thought we had a very good case for appeal, and he still refused to do it on time,” Livolsi said. 

Last Friday, Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) officials confirmed to CBS 17 an appeal had not been filed by the school or the district. Livolsi and others have questions as to why no appeal was filed by the school. 

“We really felt positive,” he said. “We really felt we were going to have a good outcome here, including the lawyer. All we needed was a little bit of support from the principal, who stood in front of our kids and told them that he loved them and he would do anything for them.” 

Meanwhile, players are looking forward to the future. 

“I think someone should be held accountable for this because it destroyed our senior year,” Honeycutt said. 

Thursday night, CBS 17 reached out to WCPSS officials for a comment about the decision, and are waiting to hear back. 

WCPSS officials told CBS 17 last week federal student privacy laws prohibit the district from sharing information regarding the circumstances around the student’s eligibility.

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