May 8, 2014 Updated: May 9, 2014 at 12:06 am
Lewis-Palmer baseball, unbeaten in Colorado, is not hosting a district tournament on Saturday.
Why? Because Evergreen was given the eighth seed as the final host site. And the Rangers are calling foul.
According to Lewis-Palmer coach Tom McCabe, the wild-card points, which determine baseball district seeds, were incorrect when Evergreen listed Palm Springs (Calif.) as having more wins than it should have for the wild-card points process. McCabe said that would have docked Evergreen's numbers enough to allow Lewis-Palmer to climb into the eight spot and become a host site.
But McCabe and the Rangers weren't aware of the situation until Thursday. When they tried to contact the Colorado High School Activities Association, the CHSAA told the Rangers that it was too late.
Bert Borgmann, CHSAA assistant commissioner, told The Gazette that any concerns from teams about wild-card points had to be raised before midnight Wednesday, so the seeding committee could discuss and look into it before releasing the brackets later that morning. The CHSAA has since removed the wild-card points standings from its website.
"If there were any (problems), and we haven't discovered any, all of that had to be provided to us before the seeding committee met," Borgmann said Thursday. "The brackets are final, and they're (the Rangers) moving on."
McCabe was reasonably frustrated by the decision.
"I think they were unfair to my boys not to go and make the correction on Thursday," said McCabe, from Chicago, where he was returning from a business trip to Singapore, part of the reason he couldn't challenge the decision before the seeding committee met. "Their job is to ensure fairness and they were not fair to Lewis-Palmer. I think they owe people an explanation."
More people demanding an explanation were Douglas County fans. The Huskies were announced as the No. 30 seed in the 5A bracket. Several hours later, the players were pulled off the field 45 minutes into practice and told there had been an error with the wild-card points. Mullen was given the No. 30 seed, not Douglas County.
According to the CHSAA, an out-of-state team Mullen had played had suffered a loss after May 3 and that had cost Mullen enough points to qualify. But Borgmann had made a note of that possibility when Maxpreps.com had notified him of a possible error in the system the day before the brackets were released. Unfortunately for Douglas County, the CHSAA released the brackets before finding out the true results.
"After they made the brackets public, Maxpreps went back to CHSAA and said, 'Whoops,'" Douglas County athletic director Jeff Gardella said. "By removing that game from Mullen's schedule that put their power-ranking points above Douglas County's."
Borgmann apologized to Gardella for the error, the Huskies AD said. And Borgmann was disappointed it happened.
"We had flagged it early like we were supposed to," Borgmann said. "The unfortunate part of that was we released the bracket before we got final confirmation. ... That wasn't the best thing in the world."
None of that helps Lewis-Palmer, nor Douglas County's seniors who thought they were headed to the postseason for the last time in their high school careers.
"I was so positive we were hosting, before I went on my business trip I was making sure the field was in great shape." McCabe said. "It (the decision) doesn't pass the human, common-sense test."