OP's Jacob Kohler got to play football this season
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Monday, November 14, 2016
After Section VI initially ruled that fifth-year Orchard Park senior Jacob Kohler couldn't play in varsity football games this year because he exhausted his four years of high school sports eligibility, he eventually got his chance. Kohler, who was diagnosed with autism as a child and needs a fifth year to graduate, and his parents appealed the ruling to New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. The process usually takes months, but Elia issued a stay, enabling Kohler to take the field with the Quakers for the entire season, until a final decision is made. "I just want to play football," Kohler said after he learned of the ruling shortly before OP's season opener on Sept. 2. New York State is now considering a change in the regulations that almost denied Kohler his chance to play.