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Malverne has to forfeit victory because player was ineligible but will appeal

Malverne High School used an ineligible football player in its 32-30 upset victory over Seaford on Saturday, said Section VIII coordinator Nina Van Erk, who ruled on Monday that Seaford would be given a forfeit victory.

Van Erk, who heads the governing body of interscholastic sports in Nassau County, said Malverne self-reported the infraction.

Malverne coach Kito Lockwood said the school will appeal the decision.

The player, who transferred from a local Catholic school, had followed all of the required steps to play, Lockwood said, but the paperwork had not been filed to Van Erk's office until after the game started.

"It's an unfortunate situation, an administrative oversight," said Pat Pizzarelli, the Section VIII football coordinator. "Malverne said they will appeal the decision, which is totally understandable. It was all about paperwork that was filed late. I feel terrible for Coach Lockwood and his players that a big win for the program is lost."

The athletic director failed to get the paperwork in on time, Pizzarelli said.

Patricia Desormeau, the athletic director for the Malverne School District, did not return repeated calls for comment.

Reached before Tuesday's practice, Lockwood said he had yet to tell his players of the ruling.

"We are appealing the forfeit," he said. "Our kids worked very hard to prepare for the Seaford game, a team we hadn't beaten in 15 years. We played tough and with a lot of heart and to have it taken away is sad. This really impacts the kids."

The forfeit dramatically impacts the power points. Malverne (2-5) will need a win against West Hempstead this week to make the playoffs. Seaford (6-1) is in second place. All statistics from the game are also void.

"I was surprised when I read the email in regard to the forfeit," said Seaford football coach Rob Perpall. "I respect what Section VIII does and I understand the rules. But the first thing I did was call Kito Lockwood and tell him they beat us fair and square. He is an honorable man and building a program. I guess someone didn't follow the proper procedure to file paperwork -- ridiculous. The Malverne boys played their hearts out and they beat Seaford.

"I told my guys if you see a Malverne player in the Roosevelt Field area, you congratulate him, because they beat us on the field. I'm shocked at this," he said. "It's a big feather in Malverne's cap, a big win. I wouldn't want to take that away from them. I feel bad for the team."


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