Hempfield wrestler Isaiah Vance ruled eligible by WPIAL
By: Paul Schofield
Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 7:30 PM
The Hempfield wrestling program and specifically sophomore heavyweight Isaiah Vance received some good news Thursday.
After viewing the details of Vance’s eligibility case Wednesday, WPIAL officials determined his absences from school were legal and excused and ruled him eligible to compete in the upcoming individual tournaments. Vance is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL in the Trib HSSN rankings.
Citing too many absences from school, Hempfield administrators decided not to permit Vance to wrestle last week in the WPIAL team tournament just an hour before a first-round match against Chartiers Valley. The Spartans won that match, but Hempfield had to forfeit its heavyweight bout and lost to Waynesburg, 39-33, in the quarterfinals.
With a win, the Spartans would have advanced to the WPIAL semifinals and had a chance to reach the PIAA tournament.
“Hempfield did things properly,” WPIAL executive director Tim O’Malley said. “I don’t know if all district schools follow the rules; they should, but Hempfield did.”
First-year coach Tommy Dolde was pleased with the WPIAL’s decision.
According to the PIAA by-laws: Article 3, Section 3, how absences affects eligibility, a student who has absent from school during a semester for a total of 20 days or more is ineligible to participate in an Inter-School practice, scrimmages or contest until the student has been in attendance for a total of 45 days following the student’s 20 th day of absence.
The following absences may be waived by the District Committee:
A: Days when the student was required to serve as the primary caregiver to a member of the student’s immediate family or a near relative or a death in that student’s immediate family or a near relative, both defined in Section 1154 of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended;
B: days when the student was absent to the student’s compliance with a court subpoena;
C: days when the student was confined by quarantine;
D: days when the student attended a religious activity/function which the church requires its members to attend;
E: days when the student has an excused absence of five or more school days due to the same confining illness or injury.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.