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Judge blocks SSAC in Martinsburg player case

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A judge has blocked an effort by the Secondary School Activities Commission to declare a Martinsburg High School football player ineligible.

Media outlets report a judge in Berkeley County Circuit Court granted an injunction allowing Bulldogs quarterback Malique Watkins to play Friday night against Washington High.

SSAC Executive Director Gary Ray declared Watkins ineligible last week. Earlier this week a judge granted a preliminary injunction which was affirmed on Friday.

The SSAC's board of directors can appeal the ruling and is scheduled to meet later this month.

Watkins repeated the eighth grade. Under SSAC rules, a player held back one year in the sixth through eighth grades without receiving failing grades will lose their fourth year of eligibility after entering the ninth grade.

Watkins enrolled at Hedgesville High School as a freshman and transferred to Martinsburg before his sophomore season.

Martinsburg is the three-time defending Class AAA champion. The Bulldogs (4-1) are seventh in the SSAC's latest computer ratings that determine the 16 teams advancing to the playoffs in November.


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