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Despite an 18-4 record, the Lake Worth boys soccer team won't be playing in the postseason.
The Trojans must forfeit all 18 victories and pay a $1,300 fine to the Florida High School Athletic Association after the school self-reported a violation of the state's player-eligibility policy. Lake Worth played with two ineligible players over the age of 19 years and nine months, which is the oldest a student can be to participate at the high school level.
The names of the players were not released.
In addition to the penalties handed down by the state, the school also fired head coach Aundrey Johnson and his staff.
"Our principal is really strict about being fair and doing the right thing," Athletic Director Jessie Hester said. "At this point, any time kids are affected in this way, we feel like something needs to be done."
Because of the forfeits, Lake Worth does not qualify for next week's District 14-4A tournament, which will include eight of the district's nine teams.
In a letter to the school, the FHSAA said it took into consideration the fact that Lake Worth self-reported the violation, but that it still was penalized because it is expected to review the eligibility of each student-athlete prior to participating in athletics.
Along with the forfeits and fine, Lake Worth received an official reprimand and was placed on administrative probation until Feb. 16, 2015. The Trojans also will not be allowed to participate in a boys soccer preseason tournament in 2014.
"It's devastating to a lot of the kids because the kids realized that they had a fantastic chance of going far in the playoffs," Hester said.
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