Dalton must forfeit four victories for using an eligible player who failed to make a legitimate move into the Dalton school district, the Georgia High School Association ruled Tuesday.
The result could mean the end of Dalton’s state record of 51 consecutive winning seasons.
The forfeits drop Dalton’s record to 2-6 from 6-2. Dalton remains in playoff contention in Region 7-AAAA. Before the forfeits, Dalton led its subregion with a 4-0 record, but at 2-2 still can rally and win a region play-in game Nov. 4 and qualify for the state playoffs.
But if Dalton fails to win an appeal, the football team would have to advance to the Class AAA quarterfinals to win seven games and salvage its streak of winning seasons, which is perhaps the longest active streak of its kind in the nation.
The ineligible player, linebacker Corey Smith, played at Southeast Whitfield last season. He was Dalton’s leading tackler through six games. He sat out the past two games, both Dalton victories, as the GHSA reviewed the case.