GHSA strips Chamblee of girls soccer championship; school plans to appeal

ajc.com

The Chamblee girls soccer team has been stripped of the Class 5A championship that it had claimed last week after an investigation by the Georgia High School Association found that the school violated three of its by-laws, according to a release from the DeKalb County School District.

The GHSA also determined that the program must forfeit all of its victories during the 2022 season, including its region and state titles, and ruled that three student-athletes are ineligible for varsity participation for one calendar year.

“This is devastating news for our team and the hard work and determination they displayed all season,” Chamblee principal Gail Barnes said in the release. “We appreciate the loyal support from our parents, fans, and community. Without question, we will do our part to correct what we can, moving forward.”

Chamblee became the first DeKalb County public school to win a state championship in girls soccer when it defeated Midtown 8-1 Thursday at McEachern High School. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 22-1-1 record, setting the DeKalb public-school record for victories in a season.

The GHSA determined that Chamblee violated by-laws concerning undue influence, failure to exert reasonable institutional control and allowing an unauthorized person to coach.

The school is expected to appeal the undue influence charge. The GHSA found that one of the assistant coaches trained three student-athletes in local club soccer, and those players are members of Chamblee’s soccer team. However, the school will appeal on the grounds that the girls have been students in the Chamblee cluster and the school district since elementary school and were not recruited to the school.

“I am sorry this is happening to our players,” Barnes said. “Our players are class acts on and off the fields.”

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