High School Sports

Hickory Ridge banned from NCHSAA football playoffs, plans appeal

Hickory Ridge-East Meck high school football incident

Monday night, Hickory Ridge and East Mecklenburg High's football teams had a bench-clearing incident that resulted in N.C. High School Athletic Association penalties for both teams
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Monday night, Hickory Ridge and East Mecklenburg High's football teams had a bench-clearing incident that resulted in N.C. High School Athletic Association penalties for both teams

The N.C. High School Athletic Association has suspended Hickory Ridge High School from participating in the 2018 football playoffs, a Cabarrus County Schools spokesperson told the Observer.

Ronnye Boone, director of communications and public information for Cabarrus County Schools, responded to an Observer request via email Wednesday morning.

Boone said the NCHSAA had informed Hickory Ridge via letter Tuesday that it would not be eligible for postseason play following a fight during a game at East Mecklenburg High School Monday. The NCHSAA also forced East Meck to forfeit its final two games of the season - against Butler Friday and against Rocky River at home Nov. 9. The Eagles will finish the season at 1-10.

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After game officials suspended players from the incident, the Eagles didn’t have enough eligible players to continue playing.

“What happened was our team and (Hickory Ridge) violated the NCHSAA rules (Monday) night in the game resulting in a two-game suspension,” East Meck principal Rick Parker said via text. “Our team should not have got caught up in it and I support the State (sic) decision. That kind of behavior will not be tolerated. That is not how we represent East Meck or our community. We are better than that. I hate it for our players, but it is a life lesson for them and they will become stronger from it.”

Boone said Hickory Ridge received a $1,000 fine and has two days to appeal the NCHSAA decision, which it plans to do. Hickory Ridge, however, will be allowed to play its final two games - at Indian Trail Porter Ridge Friday and Myers Park Nov. 9. Both of those games are at home.


But it is not certain, as of this writing, that those games will be played. Hickory Ridge had players ejected Monday and, like East Meck, may not have enough players to move forward.


Boone said Hickory Ridge school officials “will have to make this decision once the appeal is answered regarding the total number of players ejected.”


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