SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Three tennis stars from Aracadia High School are left out of this year's state tournament after the staff missed the deadline to register for the tournament with the Arizona Interscholastic Assocation.
"The principal and the athletic director both called the AIA asking if there's anyway the kids could be put into the draw and the AIA told the principal and the athletic director there was no way it could be done," said Steve Williams, a parent of one of the boys left out.
Williams' son, Rush, is an undefeated player and the Scottsdale City champion. Rush and the boys doubles players didn't know about the error until they saw their names missing on the bracket.
"We have an administrator that made a mistake and now we have three boys at Arcadia High School that are being punished," said Williams.
Brian Bolitho is the Director of Business Development for AIA. He says an error like this happens about once a year, in large part due to frequent coach turn over.
"Once that bracket is made public and those individuals who know who they're going to be competing against, it kind of would be a disservice to go back in, change those brackets from all the work that has been done, all the information that went out to then try and create a new tournament," said Bolitho.
A statement released by Scottsdale Unified School District regarding the error reads:
"Arcadia High School deeply regrets that the names of three tennis players, who qualified to compete at the state level, were not submitted to the AIA on time. The principal takes full responsibility for the error and is taking steps to ensure this never happens again. to any Arcadia athlete."
"These kids deserve better. The AIA and Arcadia High School job is to advocate for their student-athletes, not to hinder them, and to me this is not advocating for student-athletes, this is punishing them for adult errors," said Williams.