ARLINGTON -- Coming back to school on Monday, the players from Bowie High School in Arlington didn't know if they would be back on the practice field again.
Over the weekend, the team was in limbo, wondering whether or not they would be able to continue in the playoffs.
"I had to put them up there saying, 'Listen,' you just keep having to say, 'Everything is okay, everything is going to be okay,'" Arlington Bowie head coach Kenny Perry said. "'Trust me, trust me, trust me! You don't have anything to worry about. We're going to back you guys. We know what you’re about and your kids are about.'"
At issue was an eligibility question concerning a player who transferred to Bowie midway through the season. The players was missing was a parent residency waiver. It wasn't the student's fault, but the paper work had to be corrected.
Monday, the UIL granted a retroactive waiver clearing Bowie High School of any improper paperwork. The UIL said that the school was not at fault, since the player in question had been cleared to play by the district executive committee.
During morning classes, Perry made the announcement for the entire school that Saturday's playoff game against DeSoto was back on.
"I'm happy," said Arlington Bowie defensive back Steve Wesley. "I'm glad. I know I can always listen to Coach Perry. He's always going to come through for us. I was so ecstatic when I heard him on the announcement that we were cleared to play."
"When he told us the news, there was jubilation," said Arlington Bowie offensive lineman Kristopher Thigpen. "We were really excited. We were really pumped and ready to play DeSoto, so we can finally show what we're made of as a team and how we've matured. And how this team is going to be better than the Bowie teams of the past, because this team is finally going to finish what it started."
"I guess it’s one of those deals where you feel like you've been exonerated and you’re getting out of prison," Perry said. "It's been a horrible thing. I obviously never wanted to go through it. I wouldn't want anyone to go through it, especially our kids. It’s a relief and now we can get on with what's important with our kids, our school and our community."
At the end of the day, it all worked out, but the players and the coaches could have done without all the headaches.