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Armwood, Lightsey, cleared to compete during investigation process

Posted Nov 18, 2011 by Bill Ward

Updated Nov 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Armwod football coach Sean Callahan received his first bit of good news since the start of a Florida High School Athletics Association Investigation of a Hawks player’s eligibility when he was informed by his principal Friday the school will be allowed to compete in all of its playoff games and the player in question can also take part in those contests.

Callahan said Armwood principal Mike Ippolito received an e-mail Thursday night from FHSAA Associate Executive Director of Compliance and Eligibility Denarvise Thornton stating Armwood will play its playoff games and that offensive lineman Jack Lightsey, who a FHSAA investigator interviewed Thursday regarding his residency status, can also suit up during the association’s due process.

“It’s a relief to us not to have to worry about not playing our (playoff) games but we won’t be satisfied until our program is cleared at the end of the investigation,” Callahan said. “I’m happy for Jack, too. I don’t want him to be the fall guy because he has done nothing wrong.”

Callahan reiterated “Armwood football has done absolutely nothing wrong” and that his school’s administration has twice cleared Lightsey to be a student and an athlete at Armwood. The first time came last spring, when Lightsey transferred to Armwood from Orlando Dr. Phillips High. The second time came last August, before the start of the 2011-12 school year and football season. In light of that, Callahan said it’s unclear to him why his school self-reported to the FHSAA concerning Lightsey’s residency status. A liocal TV station report, however, called into question the Lightsey family’s residency because the family owns multiple properties.

“As coaches, we’re bewildered by what’s happened because we were told he was eligible to play (by administrators) but in any case, Armwood football welcomes and encourages the investigation,” Callahan said. “We have nothing to hide and will go out of our way to help the FHSAA secure all the facts.”

Reader Comments

Por (OttoSponge) on November 19, 2011 (Suggest removal)

The word’s of Coach Callahan sums it up. Just read between the lines:
Callahan reiterated “Armwood football has done absolutely nothing wrong” and that his school’s administration has twice cleared Lightsey to be a student and an athlete at Armwood.”
and…
“As coaches, we’re bewildered by what’s happened because we were told he was eligible to play (by administrators) but in any case, Armwood football welcomes and encourages the investigation,” Callahan said. “We have nothing to hide and will go out of our way to help the FHSAA secure all the facts.”

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Por (OttoSponge) on November 19, 2011 (Suggest removal)

What you have there is an administration that is not supportive of football. It is clear. I attended last night’s game and was shocked to see how few students were there, just family members. What happens in Armwood’s school to generate the kind of excitement about these playoff games that every other school is experiencing? Are there pep rallies, signs and posters in the halls? If there were would there not be lot’s kids with blue and white painted faces, etc. at the games? I suspect that the lack of enthusiasm is a direct reflection of the leadership’s lack of support. Good principals are on the front lines of generating school spirit. Armwood is known nationally, not for its academics, but for it’s football.

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