The Illinois High School Association on Wednesday, March 8, announced sanctions against the Maine South football program for reportedly using out-of-county players during its 2022 season.

The Hawks finished the regular season 7-2 and an unbeaten record (5-0) in the Central Suburban League South before winning two playoff games.

After “recently” receiving a tip, the IHSA, in cooperation with the high school and Maine Township District 207, launched an investigation into ineligible players in Maine South, according to Craig Anderson, executive director of the IHSA, in a news release.

“The IHSA recently received credible information that Maine South football players who do not reside in the district participated on the team during the 2022 IHSA football season,” Anderson said in the IHSA publication. “The staff of District 207 and Maine South High School promptly conducted a thorough internal investigation in cooperation with the IHSA after being informed of these allegations. After a thorough review, they self-reported IHSA residency violations by several student-athletes on their 2022 football roster.

The publication does not specify how many or which football players have violated the statutes.

Maine South won 28-21 in overtime at New Trier in the final week of the regular season on October 21, 2022. The Trevians, who were 4-4 going into the game, needed the win to qualify for the postseason. Instead, their season ended with the last buzzer.

The Hawks also defeated Barrington and Bolingbrook in the playoffs, and Evanston, Glenbrook South, Niles West, South Elgin and Stevenson during the regular season.

The IHSA also placed Maine South on probation for one season and “has been given official notice that future violations may result in disqualification from the IHSA State Football Playoffs.”

“The IHSA charter is the foundation of the association and its ability to fulfill its mission of equitable participation,” Anderson said in the press release. “With more than 800 member schools, we rely on our schools to abide by these rules and to work with the IHSA where violations have occurred.

“I commend the staff at Maine Township High School District 207 and Maine South High School for recognizing the seriousness of these allegations and their diligence in investigating and reporting these violations. I believe District 207 has already begun taking appropriate steps to prevent such issues from reoccurring in the future and will assist them in any way we can.”

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