Football team regains all season wins


Lillian Holmberg

Seniors Tanner Matthias, Xavier Dunbar, Matthew Garza, and Tucker Richey hold hands in preparation to walk out on the field. (File Photo)

After a day-long court hearing with Kansas State High School Activity officials, Topeka Public Schools district officials, the family of player in question Jacqez Barksdale and their attorney, it was decided that the appeal would let the Topeka High football team regain all of their season wins and that Barksdale would still be considered an ineligible player.

After it was decided by the board that his son would not be considered eligible even though he believed to have followed all the proper protocols, Tony Barksdale decided to make no comment on the issue and left before the Topeka Public Schools district decision was made.

Longtime Coach Walt Alexander commented on the decision saying, “I’m happy for the kids and parents and our football program. The right decision has been made.”

Football players went to the hearing throughout the day and were anxiously waiting to hear results. Senior Tanner Mathias attended with a few of his teammates and was more than grateful to hear the results.

“I felt relieved and absolutely ecstatic. We took a lot of talk for this and now those schools that are talking can’t back it up in anyway. Now we are league champs,” Matthias said. “Our reputation has been restored. We work hard to be successful, we don’t cheat. Maybe other schools should take notes if they want to whine.”

Senior Joel Munganga who was in the group of school football players in attendance wanted to leave the school and season on a good note.

“It felt great [to regain the wins]. I didn’t want to leave Topeka High as one of the players that were on Topeka High’s worst record placing teams. Even if they would have taken the wins, everybody in the state and every team we played knew who was a better team when they played us,” Munganga said. “Most of us weren’t worried about us getting stripped of the wins and using an eligible player because he got signed off by TPS501, HP, T-High, and KSHAA. It made them look stupid.”

The team next year is looking forward to putting all this passion on the field and show the state what kind of team they really are. Deandre Anderson, junior, looks forward to the upcoming season and has a message to fellow teammate Jacqez Barksdale on how to come back from all of this.

“Week 3 of upcoming season when you make your return, go get what they tried to take from you. Nobody on the field can stop you. Show the haters what they don’t wanna see,” Anderson said.

School football team players sit in the hearing as they wait for a decision as to whether or not they will regain their season wins. Photo by Chris Lilly