High School Football

Good news: Ferndale has two playoff losses vacated; bad news: Bellevue is back in 2017

Ferndale’s Cooper Clark dives on a fumble during a 28-0 loss to Bellevue in the first round of the 2012 Class 3A state football playoffs. The WIAA Executive Board voted Monday to vacate Bellevue’s postseason results from 2012-14, , citing a “lack of institutional control” during those years.
Ferndale’s Cooper Clark dives on a fumble during a 28-0 loss to Bellevue in the first round of the 2012 Class 3A state football playoffs. The WIAA Executive Board voted Monday to vacate Bellevue’s postseason results from 2012-14, , citing a “lack of institutional control” during those years. The Bellingham Herald file

Remember Ferndale’s 28-0 loss to Bellevue in the first round of the 2012 Class 3A state football playoffs? How about a 44-0 loss to the Wolverines in the quad-district playoffs a year later?

Neither does the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association ... but Bellevue is back in the hunt for the 2017 state title.

The WIAA Executive Board Monday voted to amend sanctions previously imposed on the Bellevue football program, lifting the postseason ban for the team beginning this fall. The Executive Board also voted to vacate the state playoff finishes by Bellevue in 2012-14, citing a “lack of institutional control” during those years, according to a WIAA press release.

The Wolverines, who were coached by Butch Goncharoff at the time, beat Ferndale on their way to 3A state titles in 2012 and 2013 – victories and titles that have now been vacated. They finished second to Eastside Catholic in 2014.

The Executive Board also imposed a $2,500 fine, which will be applied to WIAA coaches’ education concussion management activities, and Bellevue will be required to provide ongoing reports about its institutional reform.

Bellevue representatives detailed the changes made to policies and procedures within the school district on Sunday.

“The Board recognized that there has been a culture shift at Bellevue High School with the changes that have been made to that program,” WIAA Executive Director Mike Colbrese said in the release. “The change in sanctions is an effort to address the institution that was responsible for the violations committed.”

After multiple investigations found WIAA violations of rules regarding recruiting and out-of-season coaching, Bellevue was originally banned from postseason play four four years, but that was reduced to two in August 2016. Monday’s decision further reduced the postseason ban to one year, which the Wolverines served last year.

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