Galena gets back into playoffs

Galena High School is back in the Northern 4A baseball playoffs, and Sparks was sent packing.

An Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association administrative appeal panel overturned an earlier ruling on Thursday that had the Grizzlies forfeiting 11 games due to an ineligible player.

The prior NIAA action, issued Tuesday, knocked Galena out of the zone playoffs, but the new verdict restores Galena to its No. 2 seed for the tournament, which begin May 3.

The bracket remains largely unchanged from the way it was at the end of the baseball season on April 22. The only difference is that Sparks, which had qualified as the eighth seed, was knocked out of the playoffs after Galena's two forfeits were factored in.

The Grizzlies forfeited games to Reed and Lowry. Sparks had originally made the playoffs after winning a tiebreaker against Reed and Lowry, but with the extra wins for the latter two schools, the Railroaders were dropped down to 10th place.

Reed qualified as the eighth team by winning the tiebreak against Lowry.

NIAA Executive Director Jerry Hughes was out of town for the weekend and unavailable for comment. Officials from Galena and Sparks could not be reached as well.

Galena had been forced Tuesday to forfeit 11 games from March 14 to April 8 after it was found that Josh Green was failing an extracurricular course that he was taking for credit.

The appeal panel found that the March 3 grade check by the Washoe County School District was not official for spring sports, since it came before the season officially began. Although Green's name was on the report, it did not count for the baseball season.

Thus the first official check came on March 24, and while the panel found that Green was failing the class on that date, Galena argued that it had never been notified.

The panel then factored in the one week of probation given to students failing a course, which would have encompassed the games from March 27 to April 1. At that point, Green's grades had not improved, so Green should have been suspended for the games from April 3-8.

During that week, the Grizzlies won a game April 4 against Reed, lost to Reno on April 6 and split a doubleheader with Lowry on April 8. The two wins were converted to forfeit losses.

Green's grades improved after that week, so he was eligible thereafter.

There was the possibility of litigation if the Grizzly players and parents didn't like the panel's decision.

Locally, this means that Carson and Douglas will once again square off in the first round of the zone tourney. Carson's seeding didn't change, but Douglas dropped down two spots after Thursday's decision.

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