Ineligible Daphne football player, family speak out on camera about forfeit

Baldwin County

DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Quinnelly family had a lot to say following the violation reported regarding sophomore James Quinnelly.

According to a statement released earlier this week from Head Coach Kenny King, James was in violation of the Alabama High School Athletics Association (ASHAA) home rule. In that statement, King said he would forfeit Daphne’s 35-7 victory of Spanish Fort Friday as a result.

This is what Quinnelly’s first thought of when he heard the news: “My teammates, the seniors. You know, it’s a big deal beating Spanish Fort, and just to get that taken away from us, you know after how hard we worked all off season, it’s heartbreaking,” he said.

The violation was an infraction of the home rule. Quinnelly transferred to Daphne in January, but per the AHSAA Handbook, he wasn’t allowed to play until the following season, which would have been this fall. Quinnelly played in a spring scrimmage, which violated that.

“To me it’s a whole nothing sandwich,” said his father John. “He played maybe 20, 20 plays.”

It’s a hit Quinnelly never expected he would have to take.

“Some people tell me like it’s my fault, I should have known better, I shouldn’t have played,” he said.

As he moves forward, Quinnelly says he has nothing but respect for his teammates and coach who have supported him through the process.

“You know, all Coach King wants to do is coach a good team and try and get as many wins as possible. And you know, there’s nothing malicious or evil going on,” he said.

In addition to the forfeit, Quinnelly will have to sit out Friday’s game against Saraland. He’ll be able to suit up next, when Daphne plays Fairhope.

The video above shows part of our interview with Quinnelly.

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