Arizona Interscholastic Association lifts ban against Desert Valley High School sports teams

GLENDALE, AZ - It's been a long month for Deer Valley High student-athletes and parents.

On September 16th, the Arizona Interscholastic Association suspended every sport from competing in the post-season after school officials allowed two ineligible football players to participate in the season opener.

"It was kind of stressful and a little nerve-wrecking," said Gage Nerger, a wrestler at the school.

School officials, parents and students waited anxiously at the Arizona Interscholastic Association headquarters in Glendale as board members were going to decide whether to not to reverse their September decision.

"Obviously you hope the (Arizona Interscholastic Association)  will come to its senses so to speak," said Gary Nerger, Gage's father. "I mean that sanction was widespread."

At the meeting, the Deer Valley Unified School District presented an outline of the disciplinary actions they plan to take on the school. Specifics of this outline were not provided to the media, but it was enough to sway the board's September decision.

"My recommendation to the AIA Executive Board that the Deer Valley High School programs, with the exception of football, be placed on advisement, and football remain on probationary status," said AIA Associate Executive Director Chuck Schmidt.

"We don't feel our students should be suffering or should be held responsible for actions from our staff or some adults," said DVUSD Communications Manager Heidi Vega.

This means football will stay on probation, but the suspension will be lifted for the remaining sports allowing players the chance to compete in the playoffs.

"For a wrestler, they really don't get noticed unless there's a state placing on their resume. I hope I can do that," said Gage.

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