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Mitchell hockey association to appeal postseason ban

The Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association is appealing the penalty handed down by the South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association, which bans the boys varsity and junior varsity teams from postseason play.

In response to a video that surfaced from a Dec. 21, 2018, “locker boxing” fight between two Mitchell Marlin hockey players that showed a 17-year-old and a 15-year-old throwing punches at each other in the Marlins’ locker room at the city-owned ice arena, a number of players and coaches were suspended. Some were suspended for the entire season and others were suspended for a number of games.  

When reached by The Daily Republic on Friday, MSHA President Brian Nash confirmed the association will appeal the SDAHA’s decision to ban the varsity and JV from the postseason but declined to answer further questions regarding the matter.

According to SDAHA League Director Dan French, of Rapid City, the disciplinary committee looked deeper into the incident, prompting the Jan. 3, decision to ban the MSHA boys varsity and junior varsity from postseason play. Ten people on the SDAHA disciplinary committee voted on the ban, French said.

“Since this is still ongoing, there isn’t any further information I can provide at this time,” French added.

The appeal process begins when a hockey association specifies what part of the disciplinary action in the penalty handed down by the SDAHA that the association opposes to the state board. The appeal hearing would then be conducted at later date by the SDAHA Board of Directors, who would then deliberate and decide whether to grant the appeal, according to French.

The SDAHA board of directors is made up of the association’s president, vice president, secretary and treasurer, along with the president of each hockey program in the state. That means Nash, president of Mitchell’s hockey program, would be one of the members that will be a part of making a decision of the appeal.

The South Dakota varsity state hockey tournament will be played March 15-17 in Fort Pierre.

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