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Orchard Park senior may learn football fate soon

Posted at 11:32 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 12:23:58-04

An Orchard Park senior is waiting on pins and needles, wondering if he'll be able suit-up this football season. The NYS Education Commissioner could deliver her decision as early as Wednesday.

Orchard Park hits the field for its first game on Friday and Jacob Kohler is hoping to be on the roster. 

Jacob lives with autism, and due to difficulties he dealt with as a freshman, he'll need to spend an extra year in high school. This summer, he was told he couldn't be on the football team because he's already used his four years of high school eligibility. 

His family says he should be allowed to play, because he wasn't ready physically or mentally to play sports his freshman year. 

State Senator Tim Kennedy is rallying behind Jacob. He started a Change.org petition asking the state education department to make an exception for Jacob. People from California, Rhode Island, even Italy have been leaving notes of support.

Jacob's family hopes to hear from the state soon.  

Officials with Section VI say four years of eligibility for athletics starts as soon as a student reaches the 9th grade.