Lighthouse Private Christian Academy’s football team has been hit with a fine by the Florida High School Athletic Association after having to forfeit a game against Escambia because of a scheduling conflict.
It’s an unfair fine, according to Colin Hendrickson, the executive director of Lighthouse. And he plans to appeal the nearly $8,000 fine that will go to the Gators to make up for lost home revenue.
Hendrickson said the previous coach, Marcus Coffey, had scheduled the game with Escambia for 2017 despite the fact that the school already had a contract in place for a game tonight against Jackson Academy out of Alabama. The contract for the Jackson game had been in place for close to two years.
Hendrickson said he notified Escambia and the FHSAA in June about the scheduling conflict and said he reached out to Niceville about possibly filling the void in Escambia’s schedule. He said the Eagles seemed on board with the idea.
But Escambia never reached out to Niceville about playing the game, according to Hendrickson, despite the fact that Niceville does have bye tonight.
Lighthouse head coach Oliver Wayne Longley chose to play the game against Jackson Academy instead of Escambia because of safety concerns for his team. The Stingrays are only in their second full season of football and only three players had ever taken a varsity snap prior to this season.
The game is the second one Escambia has lost this year. It had a game against a school out of Louisiana wiped out two weeks ago because of the threat of Hurricane Irma.