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Family Fighting Over Teen's High School Football Eligibility Drops Case

WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) -- A high school football player who fought the WPIAL over eligibility has dropped his case.

Big No. 55 Zach Blystone will continue to practice with the Washington High School Prexies, but he'll spend the rest of the season on the sidelines after being declared ineligible by the WPIAL.

The WPIAL board ruled that Zach's parents, Corinna and Kent, moved the family from Charleroi to Washington so their son could play football with the more competitive Prexies.

The Blystones then took WPIAL to court.

"I don't know how anyone can prove our intent," said Corinna Blystone, Zach's mother. "How do they know what our intent was?"

KDKA's Andy Sheehan: "What was your intent?"

Blystone: "To better things for my son and my family."

But on Tuesday, the Blystones withdrew their case after the Board of Education benched Zach for the rest of the year regardless of how the judge rules.

"At this point, it would be a fruitless endeavor," said Joseph Francis, the family's attorney. "There's no sense in continuing to fight a legal fight which takes a significant amount of time, money, and takes its toll on the Blystone family."

The board feared that even if the Blystone's prevailed in court, they could lose on appeal, and Washington would have to forfeit all the games in which Zach had played.

Zach did play in the Prexies win against Brownsville, and the WPIAL board is expected to vote on Monday to record that game as a forfeit.

"In the past, anybody that's used an ineligible player has forfeited the game in which that player was used," said Tim O'Malley, of the WPIAL. "I'm sure that will hold true eventually here."

Forfeit or no, Washington High will almost certainly finish second in its conference and head on to the playoffs, but they will do so without Zach on the line.

Family Fights Back After Washington HS Football Player Benched (10/11/13)
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