Blackville, SC (WJBF) -- If the Blackville-Hilda boys soccer team is going to win their first state championship, they'll have to do so without their all-state goalie.
Joseph Staley was suspended for the title game after receiving a red card for "denying a goal scoring opportunity," in the lower state finals according to head coach Derek Allison. The Fighting Hawks appealed the decision to the SCHSL, but that appeal was denied.
Coach Allison explained the incident, "There was a breakaway, Joseph, our goalkeeper, came out to the top of his area to collect the ball. The referee said he collected the ball outside the 18, to which Joseph disagrees. But unfortunately the way this works is the referee's word is gospel unless you have video evidence to dispute it. Unfortunately, the video evidence we have is not considered strong enough. It wasn't a great shot, and it didn't actually show the incident. It showed what happened after the incident."
Coach Allison also said the appeal took 2 days, and he feels the SCHSL did all that they could in reviewing the play.
With Staley out, Coach Derek Allison ha been training junior striker Christian Sanders to play keeper. Sanders is a running back on the Hawks football team and is playing his first year of varsity soccer.
Blackville-Hilda faces defending Class A champion St. Joseph's, a 5-2 winner over Greenville Charter, in the title game Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Gilbert High School.
This is the Fighting Hawks second title game appearance. They lost to Christ Church in 2002.
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