The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association on Monday denied Shawnee High School's request to correct the seedings for the South Jersey Group 4 football tournament.
As a result, Shawnee will remain as the No. 3 seed and will visit No. 2 Timber Creek in the sectional semifinals on Friday.
"We accept the decision made by the NJSIAA and we wish all the athletes in the tournament the best of luck," the Lenape Regional School District said in a statement Monday afternoon.
Shawnee had made a formal request to the NJSIAA over the weekend, asking to be installed as the No. 2 seed, which would have meant a home game vs. Timber Creek on Friday night.
The request was made as a result of the NJSIAA admitting on Wednesday that a "mistake" was made in the seeding and that Shawnee should have been the No. 2 seed and Timber Creek, the No. 3.
NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko on Monday issued a statement admitting that an "error of admission" had occured in publishing the state tournament regulations on the organization's web site this year.
"Certainly, the error in the regulations is regrettable," Timko said. "But, given that the error was detected after seeding and after teams used published reports throughout the season to make competitive decisions, it was determined that the NJSIAA would follow the regulations as published and as reported and accepted throughout the entire season.
"Only a single team out of the hundreds that participate in football continues to express concerns. While the NJSIAA understands this frustration, this team has been seeded in the tournament. Its right to participate has not been compromised."
The "mistake," as it was called by NJSIAA assistant director Jack DuBois, resulted after Shawnee played its final game before the playoff cutoff, a victory over Hammonton on Nov. 4.
Shawnee officials thought the team would receive 22 power points for beating Hammonton. That would given the Renegades 145 power points, tied with Timber Creek for second in South Jersey Group 4, and the Medford team would have earned the No. 2 seed on the basis of a stronger schedule.
But the NJSIAA regulations this year stated that a team playing its eighth game, as Shawnee was, would receive three fewer power points for beating a team playing its ninth game, as Hammonton was.
That rule was amended last year to include a clause that indicated that three power points would be deducted only if the team playing its ninth game was 8-0. That clause was mistakenly dropped from the regulations this year, DuBois said.
Timber Creek (9-0) is No. 1 in the Inquirer Top 25. Shawnee (8-1) is No. 6.
The Chargers and Renegades will meet for the fifth consecutive year in the state tournament. Each team has won two of the previous four games, three of which were for the sectional championship.
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