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Boys' hockey roster at Achiever Academy investigated

02/14/2014, 6:29pm CST
By David La Vaque, Star Tribune

The private online school, which pulled its girls’ hockey team from the section playoffs, says it is confident of fielding an eligible boys’ team when section play begins next week.

Achiever Academy is investigating its boys’ hockey team roster in the wake of eligibility concerns that resulted in its girls’ team withdrawing from the high school hockey playoffs.

The private online school, which offers intensified hockey training, said in a statement Friday that it is “still working with” the Minnesota State High School League to determine the eligibility status of some boys’ players.

Achiever Academy “is confident in fielding a roster of eligible players for the upcoming section playoffs” in boys’ hockey, according to the statement from Matthew Resch, the school’s lawyer.

Resch would not specify the nature of the eligibility questions. The boys’ team, with a 14-7-2 record, lists 19 players on its roster posted on the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Hockey Hub. Section play begins next week, with seeding in Achiever Academy’s section — Class 1A, Section 4 — set for Sunday.

Resch said he had no information on when the roster will be finalized. “The minimum we would play with would be 10 players and two goalies,” he said.

Achiever Academy withdrew from the girls’ hockey section playoffs Thursday after reaching the section final. There were concerns, shared in an unsigned e-mail sent to the MSHSL, that as many as six players did not meet residency requirements. In some cases, parents did not relocate to Minnesota when players moved here, the e-mail claimed. In others, in-state players transferred but no family move apparently took place, as required by league rules.

While a joint statement from the league and the school stopped short of acknowledging whether eligibility violations occurred, league officials subsequently approved changing all of the team’s victories to 1-0 losses, consistent with how forfeits are handled.

The girls’ team was the top seed in Class 1A, Section 4 and was favored to reach next week’s state tournament at Xcel Energy Center. Instead, section final opponent St. Paul United was advanced to the tournament.

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574

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