Alto ruled ineligible for playoffs after enrollment number snafu

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The Alto Yellowjackes were made ineligible for the 2022 Texas high school football playoffs on Tuesday after the UIL executive committee ruled that the school turned in a incorrect enrollment number.

The UIL executive committee met Tuesday via teleconference to determine whether Alto violated Section 351 of the UIL constitution, which covers enrollment as it relates to conference realignment. In October, Alto turned in an enrollment of 163 students to the UIL, which caused the school to move from 2A Division I to 2A Division II, where the Yellowjackets were placed in District 11-2A Division II.

On Tuesday, the UIL executive committee ruled that Alto's true enrollment number was 166 — just three more than its submitted number, but enough that it would move Alto above the 164.5-student threshhold for 2A Division I. The UIL ruled that because Alto was placed an incorrect alignment due to its inaccurate enrollment number, it would therefore be ruled ineligible for the 2022 football playoffs.

The controversy centers around three students who attended classes prior to October 30 — Snapshot Day, the date upon which schools calculate their enrollment for submission to the UIL — but backdated their enrollment dates to November 2, when they would not factor into the school's enrollment number.

The ruling also puts Alto's 2023 postseason status in jeopardy. The Yellowjackets would be eligible for the postseason in 2A Division I next season, but they would need unanimous consent of both their current district (11-2A Division II, with Tenaha, Price Carisle, Mount Enterprise, Overton and Cushing) and the Division I district they wish to join.

First-year coach Brock Grisgby, most recently the offensive coordinator at Center, took over the Yellowjackets on February 22 after Lance Gamble resigned after just one season. He is Alto's third coach in three seasons. As a result of the postseason ban, Alto will miss the playoffs for just the second time since 2003 and just the third time since 1991.

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