Post 79 of Manchester is appealing an enrollment violation that would force the team to forfeit its nine wins in the New Hampshire District A American Legion circuit.
Each American Legion team in the state is allowed to draw players from high schools in their area. Post 79 is allowed to select players from Manchester Central, Trinity and Derryfield School of Manchester. Those three schools combined have an enrollment of 2,989 students, well below the 5,000 enrollment threshold set by New Hampshire American Legion baseball.
This season, Post 79 added a player from Manchester West who was released by Jutras Post and a player from Concord who was released by Concord Post. Adding the enrollments of Concord and West together placed Post 79 over the 5,000 limit, at 5,178, according to American Legion state chairman Gary Webster of Hudson.
“(Post 79 coach) Eddie Poisson and I talked and he was very apologetic about the mistake,” said Webster. “I don’t want to be the bad guy here, but rules are rules and this one was violated. Post 79 has formally submitted an appeal to the national committee and we should hear back from them by this weekend.”
The appeal allows Post 79, currently in second place with a 9-4 record, to continue playing until the national board makes its ruling.
“Plain and simple, there was a miscalculation on our part,” said Poisson. “The kid we picked up from Concord is from Candia. Because he’s from Candia, we felt he was in Central’s district, which is our territory. But he attended Concord High, which means when we picked him up, we inherited Concord’s enrollment, which put us over the top. I hated to do it because he’s a great kid who wanted to play baseball, but we had to release him to fall back under the 5,000 enrollment figure. Now we’re appealing it to nationals in hopes they’ll understand it was an error on our part.”
Post 79 will resume play at Gill Stadium on Thursday against Bedford and on Friday against Sweeney Post. Their last regular-season game is slated for Monday against Goffstown at 5:15 p.m. at St. Anselm College.