School spirit has plunged at Eau Claire North High School as the hockey team heard it has to forfeit all of it's 16 wins. The team was number one in the state until this week, when questions of a senior's eligibility hit the WIAA. It ruled senior Ryan Goodmanson is ineligible because his primary residence is outside Cclear Lake not at a rented apartment in North Eau Claire. Now the team and school are trying to move on.
Tuesday night the Huskies lost their forward, Ryan Ggoodmanson, to ineligibility, and they also lost their first game. Then, one loss would turn into 17. "The team has been rocked," says North High School Principal Tom Fiedler. Husky pride is down but not out.
Fiedler adds, "there are resilient people... hoping we'll over come it."
Goodmanson was back on the ice practicing, he's eligible to do that, and as his dad looked on, he did say the family is devastated. Coach Tom Bernhardt says he just wants to get his forward back. "To have that opportunity taken away would be an injustice to him, and hopefully everything will work out," Bernhardt added.
The principal sent the WIAA a waiver request. If approved, that would not change the forfeit decision, but would make Goodmanson eligible for the rest of the season... If that paperwork had been filed in the fall, this all could have been avoided.
"Unfortunately we were not aware... Didn't take steps for to file for the waiver," Fiedler says.
The WIAA Assistant Director says the decision was not made to set an example, but he expects more schools to check and recheck their rosters now. And since the action was sparked by a tip, there could be more of that too.
"we hope all of our players are pre-approved, if they aren't, they could face the same types of circumstances," says Tom Shafranski of the WIAA.
If the waiver request is denied, Goodmanson could be eligible as a tuition-paying student. He would have to drive to school from his home outside Clear Lake, and pay about two thousand dollars for the rest of the year. North's soccer team, also has to forfeit its wins because Goodmanson was on the team this fall.