You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

Ypsilanti's first trip to soccer regional tournament ends on bus ride to game

By Jason Idalski

While still on the road to Bloomfield Hills for an MHSAA regional semifinal game on Tuesday, the Ypsilanti High School boys soccer team's historic season came to an end.

The Phoenix learned on the bus ride to Andover High School that they were forfeiting their Division 2 playoff game because an ineligible player was used when they won the school's first district tournament title on Saturday.

Assistant coach Alex Montano has acted as head coach while head coach Terry Collins has been away due to family matters. Montano confirmed that the team was about halfway to Bloomfield Hills when basketball coach Steve Brooks, who has also been helping with the team, received the call that the game had been forfeited.


This photo of its district championship trophy is posted on the Ypsilanti boys soccer team's Facebook page. The Phoenix will forfeit that trophy for using an ineligible player.

As far as specifics, Montano deferred to athletic director Scott Johnson and Brooks.

"I don't feel like it's my position to talk about it," Montano said. "They're probably in a better position to answer questions."

Johnson and Brooks could not be immediately reached for comment.

Ypsilanti school district spokeswoman Emma Jackson said school officials learned of the ineligible player after students had been dismissed for the day and the soccer team's bus had already left for Bloomfield Hills.

"We've taken the appropriate action and the game was forfeited," Jackson said. "The athletic director is still sorting through the specifics."

The Phoenix were scheduled to play St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 5 p.m. A post on the team's Facebook page says the bus was leaving "no later than 3:30" p.m.

The MHSAA has awarded the Shorians a 1-0 victory. They'll play the winner of tonight's Trenton-Andover game in a regional final on Friday.

The Phoenix won their first ever district title on Saturday, beating New Boston Huron 3-2 in overtime, but will now have to forfeit that title.

Collins has been away from the team since Oct. 17 attending the funeral of his father in California. When contacted by, he did not know about the forfeiture.

"That's too bad," he said. "That's disappointing."

Collins said he had no knowledge of any eligibility issues with his players.

"I have no idea what the reason could be," he said.

The Macomb Daily reported that Lake Shore also learned of the forfeit on its bus trip to the game.

“The kids are kind of disappointed,” Lake Shore coach David Lount told the newspaper. “They were hyped up to play the game. They’re glad they’re in the championship game, but it’s kind of a letdown."

Jason Idalski covers sports for He can be reached at



Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 5:19 p.m.

I was involved with high school athletics for years and it's very, very, very hard to believe that a coach would not be aware of the violation. Coaches are required to gather and check that information. I also think it's unfair to blanket blame the district in this instance. Whatever the case, this is a major embarrassment for the school and a blow for the players.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Sandy Castle - Then I stand corrected again. It was just very disturbing to me.

Sandy Castle

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

The athletic department is the responsible party here, not the coach. They are responsible for knowing the MHSAA rules and making sure they are in compliance. The athletic department is the one who keeps the kids information, physicals, etc. Some coaches are familiar with MHSAA rules and some aren't. They SHOULD be, though. However, in this case even if the coach knew the rules, if he didn't know how old the kid was then he wouldn't have any idea they weren't complying. But really, does it surprise anyone that Ypsilanti's athletic department doesn't do their job? YPSD incompetence starts at the top and flows down. What's more surprising is that people continue to allow their kids to be subjected to that incompetence at every level.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

Lizard - Then I stand corrected. Sorry


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

There is strong evidence that the coach, who by the way is responsible for assuring that the players are eligible, has known throughout the season that this player was 19 before the season started. By the way the player turned 20 the day of the game.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

No, he didn't turn 20 the day of the game. I know this student personally. I don't know who was ultimately responsible, but the student did not know he was not supposed to be playing.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

As i understand it, Steve Brooks is the basketball coach but he is the person who first advised the school to self report when he found out a substitute player turned 19 a couple weeks before school started which means he is ineligible. In the end, the system failed the players that were eligible. Somewhere, someone missed the rule on birthdays so a team of boys that did what they were supposed to have to suffer. They made history but it will not be recorded. The good thing is they did self report and it ends here. Some teams try to cover it up and then more teams suffer and championships are vacated.

Steve in MI

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3 p.m.

It's a shame their season had to end this way. Ypsi played a whale of a district final game at New Boston. Great credit is due to Coach Collins for the work he's done with this team.