The Proviso East High School football team – which appeared to have made the state playoffs for the first time in more than a decade after beating intradistrict rival Proviso West last week to notch its sixth win — has been disqualified from competing in the Illinois High School Association playoffs, according to a letter IHSA officials sent District 209 officials Wednesday afternoon.

“The ruling is that there were two students who were in violation of IHSA bylaws,” said Cynthia Moreno, communications director for Proviso High School District 209. “One student’s residency cannot be verified and the other student was ineligible to play due to being beyond the eight consecutive semesters allowed for students to participate in IHSA activities.”

She declined to identify the students.

In the letter, IHSA officials said that based on the information they found, Proviso East is required to forfeit its wins against North Chicago, Addison Trail, Leyden and Morton.

On Friday, the Pirates beat Proviso West 14-8, which would have qualified the program for its first playoff since 2008.

In a statement released on behalf of District 209 on Oct. 23, Moreno said that the District 209 administration became aware of the IHSA violations after Proviso East Athletic Director Brian Colbert “self-reported the inconsistency to the IHSA.”

“The school is now aware of the ruling and is complying with all requests by the IHSA,” Moreno said. “Additionally, we are undergoing an internal investigation to ensure that as we move forward our athletic programs are in full compliance. We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate situation. Our priority right now is to work with our student athletes during this difficult time as we continue to be proud of the grit and determination all football players displayed on the football field this season.”

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