December 18, 2014

Elyria
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High school football: Elyria coach Kevin Fell won’t have to miss EC game; ejection from Amherst game ruled incorrect

Pioneers coach Kevin Fell.

Pioneers coach Kevin Fell.

ELYRIA — Kevin Fell will be on the sidelines Friday at Elyria Catholic after all.

The Elyria High football coach, who was ejected from last Friday’s opener at Amherst, was informed by the Ohio High School Athletic Association that the officials at the game incorrectly applied the rule that led to his ouster.

Elyria Athletic Director Heather Beck said she received notice from the officials Saturday that they had misinterpreted the ejection process. According to Beck, a sideline warning was given to Elyria’s bench. Subsequently, an unsportsmanlike conduct foul was also called and Fell was told to leave the stadium.

Fell asked the officials to check the rule book, but did not argue the ejection.

“I usually carry (a rule book) with me for every game,” Fell said, “but for whatever reason, I didn’t have it with me Friday. Maybe because it was the first game of the year or whatever. I didn’t argue with them or anything like that. I’m just glad it all worked out.”

“The crew was from Marion,” Beck said. “That may be why we didn’t hear from them until Saturday afternoon by email. I wasn’t able to confirm with Beau Rugg (Assistant Commissioner with the OHSAA) until Tuesday.”

The officiating crew said they misinterpreted the intent of the rule and notified Beck that Fell should not have been ejected. Beck confirmed with Rugg that Fell will be eligible to coach Friday at Elyria Catholic.

There is no suspension.

Fell, a veteran of 35 years in coaching and an Ohio Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer, had never been thrown out of a game before Friday and said he was surprised when the head official tossed him.

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or timothygeb@msn.com.