For the second time in one week, an Eau Claire high school hockey team is forfeiting games. Last week, it was North high school, because one of it's seniors didn't meet residency requirement, this time, it's Memorial that will have to give up wins and it's also because a senior was ruled ineligible.
It's one of the area's fiercest rivalries, but now these crosstown enemies on ice are in the same boat. "There are rules, parents comply when they don't there are consequences," said Memorial High School Principal Tim Leibham says on Tuesday, the WIAA got an email from a parent in Eau Claire saying senior Shawn Mahder didn't live where his family said he did. The school says he really lives in Chippewa Falls. "That property belongs to Chippewa Falls and he should have been for 4 years, He's not even our student," says Deputy Superintendent Gregg Butler said.
But the family listed a business address as their home. We learned it's Carribean Tan on Clairemont in Eau Claire. Mahder's mother owns it. She declined to comment.
So Memorial will forfeit every game Mahder played in. The school is reviewing tapes from this season to see how many that is. But one thing is clear: he will not be skating for the Old Abes anymore.
The reason Mahder won't be giving the pay to play option is because he was illegally enrolled, whereas North's Ryan Goodmanson was legally enrolled, he just didn't meet the primary residence requirements. The District Deputy Superintendent says it's impossible to verify addresses for all 11,000 students.
The WIAA says what's happened at North and Memorial is a first, but shouldn't tarnish years of accomplisments.
The principal hopes that Mahder and his family will not be treated badly, and wants fans to remember to be good sports.
Liebham says, "people need to move on we can be disappointed but for heaven sakes its' a game for enjoyment... It's not life or death."
The principal says from what he's seen in the last week, extra security will likely be needed and did not rule out the possibility that if North and Memorial meet again, it could be a closed door game if necessary. As far as M,ahder's academics, he may be able to finish out the year as a tuition paying student at Memorial.