East Ridge High School, a rising power in Class 6A football, will forfeit conference and section football titles won in the past two seasons because one of its players was ineligible.

The player involved "never actually lived at the residence that was listed on the paperwork provided by the family as part of the required documentation of residence,'' according to a statement from Mike Johnson, assistant superintendent of the South Washington County School District.

The school disclosed the information Thursday in a statement sent via e-mail to staff and parents.

The statement did not identify the player beyond saying it was someone who played varsity football in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

The statement said the matter came to the district's attention earlier this year. A district investigation ensued, which revealed that the student was ineligible to play for East Ridge, according to Minnesota State High School League rules.

East Ridge, located in Woodbury, will forfeit its 2013 Suburban East Conference football championship, as well as its 2014 Region Four football state tournament berth. The league's sanction for an ineligible athlete requires the school to forfeit every game in which the ineligible student played.

"This is a very disappointing situation for the students of East Ridge High School,'' Johnson said in the statement.

East Ridge football coach Mike Pendino said he learned of the district investigation "a couple of weeks ago'' from the school's athletic director. He called the matter "a shame for the kids, it's a shame for the school, it's a shame for everybody involved.''

PAUL KLAUDA

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