High School Football Team Takes The Low Road Into The Playoffs
Friday night, high school football teams from around the state will be trying to win their final regular season game to get a playoff berth. But one school will get in by avoiding their last game altogether.
This may be the skeeviest way into the state playoffs, but Chandler Park Academy in Harper Woods, a suburb of Detroit, is pretending they didn't have a game scheduled Friday so they can sneak into the playoffs, and apparently, there's nothing officials can do about it.
According to Mick McCabe, the high school sports writer for the Detroit Free Press, Chandler Park, with four wins and four losses, would make the playoffs if they don't play another game. However, they had a verbal agreement to play Cranbrook Kingswood Academy Friday night, October 25.
But John Jergovich, the athletic director and football coach at Chandler Park says he doesn't know what Kingswood is talking about, there's no game on his schedule for Friday. Even though several web sites show the game on their schedule, including Michigan Football and MaxPreps.
The disagreement stems from a contract Chandler Park verbally agreed to with the Detroit Catholic School League back in August which had the school playing Orchard Lake St. Mary in week three, and a game against the fourth place team in the Catholic League's AA Division (which turned out to be Kingswood) in week nine.
Jergovich says he doesn't know what the Catholic League is talking about, and the Catholic league scheduler, Vic Michaels, says Jergovich verbally agreed to the game. It's a he said/he said situation, but with no written contract the League cannot do anything about it.
“I agreed to play Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Week 3,” Jergovich told McCabe, “and that’s what I did, I’ve never seen a game for Week 9 for us. Swear to God.”
“He’s lying about a bunch of things,” Michaels replied.
It certainly seems like Jergovich looked at the opponent for Friday, thought it might be too challenging, and went to the old "Game? What game? We don't have a game!" excuse.
Michaels should have secured a written contract, but says for years the League has scheduled games without them and never had a coach deny a game existed.
“I’ve been doing this since 1995, never wrote a contract,” Michael told McCabe. “You like to think in this profession when you talk to another athletic administrator you never have to worry about it.”
It sure looks like Chandler Park has decided to weasel into the state playoffs, which is sad because there may be another team more deserving who won't get in because of this cowardly decision.
One can only hope Chandler Park gets drilled by a better team on week one to end this nightmare quickly.