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story.lead_photo.caption Springdale Har-Ber

Springdale Har-Ber's football season has ended after the Wildcats were forced to forfeit three wins this season for using an ineligible player.

The Wildcats forfeited a nonconference win against Pine Bluff, and two 7A-West Conference wins against Van Buren and Rogers High. Those losses coupled with Friday night's loss to Fayetteville moved Har-Ber's league record to 1-6 and its overall mark to 2-8. The player did not participate in wins against Russellville in nonconference and Rogers Heritage in conference play.

"We had gotten contacted earlier in the week that there could be an issue with a player," Har-Ber coach Chris Wood said following Friday night's game. "Our administration did a fantastic job investigating that and going through all the details of it, and as of today, about 12 o'clock, it was confirmed that we had played an ineligible player and we self-reported it to the AAA and forfeited the three games."

The Arkansas Activities Association, the governing body for prep athletics in the state, issued a brief statement late Friday afternoon that Har-Ber would vacate three wins.

Wood did not name the player who was declared ineligible when asked by a reporter from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette after the game.

"I can't confirm any players," Wood said. "I can't do that."

Har-Ber will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006, the first year the school opened after splitting from Springdale High. The Wildcats were in the state championship game in their second season in 2007 and won the school's only state championship in 2009. The Wildcats also advanced to the state title game in 2015.

Wood, who has been the only head coach at Har-Ber since its first season, said he met with his team Friday after school to let them know about the ruling.

"We met with the team at 3:20 this afternoon," Wood said. "We pulled them in there and explained the situation and the circumstances because I did not want them believing all the chatter and rumors that were out there. I just told them our situation and I told them this is what we're going to do because we said if we find anything, we're going to own it.

"And I told them when it was all said and done, they had done nothing wrong and if there's going to be blame, it falls at my feet as the head coach."

Andrew Epperson contributed to this report.

Sports on 11/03/2018

Print Headline: PREP FOOTBALL: Har-Ber forced to forfeit wins

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