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LONGMONT — The Niwot Cougars football team had to forfeit its opening-week victory because of the use of an ineligible player.

The player, a sophomore, attends a private school and played athletics for Silver Creek last season before opting to play sports at Niwot this year. According to the Colorado High School Activities Association, a player who transfers schools is required to sit out the first 50 percent of the varsity season at the new school.

“A kid suited up and hit the field who had not passed eligibility requirements,” Niwot athletic director Jim Butterfield said Friday. “It’s an unfortunate circumstance. This young man slipped through the cracks. It’s a somber day for Niwot.”

Butterfield said he was informed by Silver Creek athletic director Phil Borchelt on Tuesday that the Cougars had used the ineligible player.

“He said, ‘You have a kid who played (Sept. 2) who used to go to our school.’ I said I didn’t know anything about it,” Butterfield said.

The Cougars will not get credit for their 34-14 victory over Adams City, but the team faces no further consequences. The player will be eligible to return to the field after four more games are played.

Niwot rebounded from the news by beating Skyline 29-19 on Friday night.

“We won the ballgame last week and they can’t take the feeling away from us, so we need to just go out an win another one,” Niwot coach Ron Tesone said. “In our books we’re 2-0.”

Brady Delander can be reached at