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FOOTBALL: Northern Lebanon forfeits two victories due to ineligible player

The Northern Lebanon football team has forfeited the first two games of its season for having used an ineligible player, the PIAA District 3 committee announced Tuesday.

The previously undefeated Vikings now sit at 5-2 and have lost their double-digit win streak dating back to last season. Northern Lebanon defeated Pine Grove in its opener, 52-0, and beat Lebanon 51-27 on the road in Week 2. With those wins now registered as losses, the team has fallen to 19th in the District 3 Class AAA power rankings, currently three spots out of a playoff bid.

The school self-reported the ineligibility issue, which violated PIAA By-Laws Article XIII, Section 1, Sub-section A: Using an ineligible player. Northern Lebanon athletic director David Yavoich did not respond to requests for comment after the announcement was made by District 3.

In an email sent to PennLive, Yavoich revealed the team's coaches made their players aware of the violation last week.

"When the information was provided and subsequent discovery that a student-athlete was academically ineligible from the previous school year, the administration immediately self-reported the incident to the District 3 committee," Yavoich said in the email.

"The student-athletes on the football team were made aware of this situation last week by the coaches, and they all remain steadfast in their team goals and team objectives for the rest of the season."

An opposing head coach on the Vikings' schedule this season reacted to the news early Tuesday afternoon.

"In the end, the losses aren't the worst part. I feel bad that this young man wasn't given the proper guidance upon entering the school," the opposing coach said. "Somewhere in the chain of command ... this was missed.

"We actually had the same thing this year, and my AD told us the student was ineligible for 15 days. I never had to deal with it. We were able to take care of it from the beginning, the right way for the kid and team."

Northern Lebanon remains atop Section Three with an undefeated 3-0 mark in section play. The Vikings will host rival Annville-Cleona (5-2, 1-2 Section Three) on Friday night.

Earlier this season, Dylan Weaver, a junior transfer from Central Dauphin, left the Northern Lebanon team. He recorded nearly 450 yards of total offense and 11 touchdowns over four games in his first season in Fredericksburg. It has not been confirmed that Weaver is the player who was ruled ineligible.