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D.C.'s Wilson High Loses Turkey Bowl Berth

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Students protest outside Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest D.C. after a ruling this weekend determined that the school cannot play in the annual Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Bowl" game. 
Rebecca Cooper
Students protest outside Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest D.C. after a ruling this weekend determined that the school cannot play in the annual Thanksgiving Day "Turkey Bowl" game. 

Wilson High School in Washington D.C. has been kicked out of this year's Turkey Bowl. The Thanksgiving day football game features the top two DCPS high schools, but for the second time in three years, a team has been disqualified because on an ineligible player. Anancostia high school will replace the Wilson Tigers and face Dunbar High School in the game that has become a Thanksgiving tradition. 

An investigation by DCPS found that one of Wilson's players was not a District resident, according to a statement from the city school system. DCPS "regrets any confusion or frustration this may cause," the district said in the statement, adding, "It is important to ensure the integrity and fairness of the game."

Wilson High School football players and other supporters staged a protest outside of the school Monday morning, holding signs reading "Turkey Stole" and "unfair ruling." Some students even skipped their early morning classes as part of the protest.

One member of the team, senior Micah Harris, said he was shocked when he heard the news.

"I waited four years for this ... it's my last year, I've been here through the thick and thin of everything, so it's hard for me," Harris said. "'Because I wanted to play; I wanted to gout with my senior year and get a championship." 

Another senior, defensive back Dominik Burks, said the ruling amounted to being "robbed." 

"Just let us play. It's only right," he said. "Our parents have brought up enough technicalities and flaws in their system that we should just be able to play." 

Dunbar High School was forced to drop out right before the Thanksgiving Day matchup in 2010 because of an ineligible player. This would have been Wilson's first appearance in the Turkey Bowl since 1991. Kickoff for the 43rd annual Turkey Bowl is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Eastern High School. 

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