Boys soccer: Elgin High cleared of illegal player allegations

Elgin High School and its boys soccer program has been cleared of last week's allegations the Maroons were using an illegal player.

Dr. Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent for secondary schools in Elgin Area School District U-46, said Thursday she had been informed by IHSA assistant executive secretary Beth Sauser that based on evidence provided to Lozier that was then sent to the IHSA, there is no further investigation and that Elgin will be allowed to play in the upcoming IHSA state playoffs.

"Beth told me the IHSA looked at the reports sent to them and that the IHSA doesn't have a problem with it if I don't," said Lozier, who launched the investigation last week after at least two opposing coaches claimed that Maroons junior Omar Lopez had been playing for the Elgin Pumas club team during the high school season, which would have been a violation of IHSA bylaws.

The investigation centered around an online game report for a Sept. 23 Pumas game that showed Lopez as having scored 3 goals. During the course of the investigation, the Pumas explained that sometimes other players wear different jersey numbers and that was the case on Sept. 23. The Pumas further explained that game officials responsible for entering the information in the game report only go by number, thus the reason Lopez was credited with scoring.

Lopez is on the Pumas roster, as are several high school players, because they play for the team before and after the high school season.

Documents sent to the IHSA by Elgin High athletic director Paul Pennington, as well as the Pumas, Lopez and another player, were reviewed by the IHSA and deemed acceptable, Lozier said.

"The IHSA is in charge of athletics for the state and if they don't see a concern, I don't have a concern," Lozier said.

Elgin is scheduled to open postseason play Tuesday at the Class 3A Hampshire regional.

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