Maize South advances to state with returning Zayda Perez

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Update: Friday, March 1, 2019 11:17pm

Maize South defeats Salina Central 61-44 to advance to the state tournament.

The Lady Mavericks will be projected as the 7th seed instead of the 1-seed in Emporia, after vacating six regular-season wins.

"This sounds selfish but everyone wanted me back on the team. We don't care about the wins because in reality we know what happened so it doesn't bother us one bit," Perez said. "We know we can go and compete with all of the teams."

Update: Friday, March 1, 2019 6:50 pm

Zayda Perez will play in Friday night's sub-state championship for Maize South.

Maize South Athletic Director Curtis Klein tells Eyewitness Sports reporter Arielle Orsuto the paperwork went through at 6:40 p.m. tonight.

KSHSAA says that while Perez has been cleared to play, the Mavericks will forfeit six wins from she was ineligible to play varsity.


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Update: An appeal has been filed in the case of a Maize South High School senior who was forced to sit out the remainder of her senior season from the girls' basketball team.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) said they received a tip that Zayda Perez failed to sit out 18 weeks after she transferred from Valley Center High School to Maize South for her senior year.

The state agency says after investigating, they found inaccuracies in Zayda's paperwork. It stated that her whole family moved when Zayda was the only person who moved schools. Her parents are divorced -- one lives in the Valley Center school district while the other lives in the Maize school district.

"From our perspective, we have no knowledge anybody was trying to cover up anything or anything sneaky or shady was taking place, just that the information that was contained on the form wasn't accurate. I don't believe it was a willful or malicious effort to do anything, it just wasn't accurate," said KSHSAA director, Bill Faflick.

Because of the clerical error, Zayda will have to sit out the remainder of the season -- which included Wednesday night's 5A sub-state playoff game against the Arkansas City Bulldogs. It also means the Mavericks go from a 20-0, undefeated season, to 14-6, forfeiting six wins.

Zayda says she thinks KSHSAA's ruling is unfair, but it didn't the senior from coming out Wednesday to support her teammates.

"You talk about giving kids the right to play sports and you're just trying to rip it away. And it's my senior year I would just like to finish it out," she said.

It's a sentiment supported by the girls' basketball team's head coach, Ben Hamilton.

"We're punishing a kid right now that had absolutely nothing to do with it. She was not at fault in any way shape or form, so it's tough to see her right now - it's tough to watch her go through this," he said.

Zayda's story is also gaining national attention. ESPN tweeted out a link to the CatchItKansas article saying, "When will the 'adults' learn? We say that sports are valuable, priceless educational experiences for kids, yet we’ll snatch it away from them in a heartbeat, for no legit reason. Shameful."


Zayda's mom says she feels like her daughter isn't getting enough support from school administration, and she's frustrated because she says the paperwork was filed by the school and not the family. She appealed the decision and has a hearing with KSHSAA on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Maize school district says it is also reviewing the decision.

"Since we just got the ruling this morning, our district's just in the process of evaluating what our options are as a district right now. So hopefully we'll find out more here in the near future on what we can do with that," said Athletic Director Curtis Klein.Director Curtis Klein.

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The previously undefeated Maize South girls basketball team is forfeiting six games, after a transfer paperwork issue with one of its players.

Multiple sources confirm that player is Senior Zayda Perez, who transferred to Maize South from Valley Center before the school year. Neither Maize South, nor KSHSAA has specifically named Perez as the player at the time of this story.

"Regrettably the timing is terrible and the situation is really nothing anyone takes pleasure in at the high school activities association or at the member schools or at the family level," said KSHSAA Executive Director Bill Faflick. "We certainly recognize that, but at the time of the transfer, what we now know, the information contained on the transfer paperwork was not accurate."

Faflick says the player moved residences, but it was not an entire family move, which is allowed. There is supposed to be an 18 week ineligibility period in this scenario.

"We now understand that the student participated as an ineligible athlete during that time period because that window had not been fulfilled, Faflick explained."Therefore when a students participates as an ineligible athlete there's forfeiture and a responsibility to report that to the association. Maize South has done that, so they end up forfeiting basketball games. The student played in six games she was not entitled to, so unfortunately [she] is required to sit that same number of games."

Faflick says he does not believe there was any intention to cover anything up, it was just an unfortunate clerical error.

"We have no knowledge anybody was trying to cover up anything or anything sneaky or shady was taking place, just that the information that was contained on the form wasn't accurate," said Faflick. "I don't believe it was a willful or malicious effort to do anything, it just wasn't accurate."

Faflick says KSHSAA gets many inquiries regarding player eligibility throughout the year.

"We forward those to the school and ask them to investigate and tell us what they find," Faflick said. "They shared with us the paperwork with answers to the questions and based on the information that they have now they understand it was inaccurate.

Maize South is set to host a 5A sub-state playoff game tonight against Arkansas City.