Sophomore Alex Young will be the starting quarterback Friday for the Mercer County Golden Eagles.

Coach/Athletic Director Nat Zunkel confirmed Wednesday that Young will start against Princeville in Mercer County's Lincoln Trail Conference opener. Senior quarterback Spencer Wood, who is 18, was one of six persons arrested Sept. 6 by Mercer County deputies for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. The other five individuals are juveniles and their names are not being released. Sheriff's deputies made the arrests at about 10:20 p.m. Sept. 6 after a report of an underage drinking party in Joy. According to the sheriff's department, all subjects were cooperative and were each issued a notice to appear in court and released to their parents.

Zunkel declined to comment when asked if any other football players were among the six minors arrested. He was asked how many, if any, other players were involved, not the names of those players.

"What I can tell you is what you already know," he said.

The Mercer County student handbook calls for a suspension of one-third of the scheduled contests of a season _ three games for football _ for any student found to "Consume, possess or sell alcohol, crags or tobacco." The student is also to make an appointment with the Rock Island County Council on Addictions for Drugs or Alcohol for an assessment by a certified addiction counselor. Any athlete rejecting the option will "be removed from all athletics for one calendar year."

An athletic suspension reduction policy, which Zunkel said was approved by the District 404 Board of Education in the winter of 2014, gives first offenders a chance to reduce their suspensions. A student who completes 10 hours of approved community service reduces the suspension from one-third to one-fourth of the season. Twenty hours of community service allows a student to reduce the suspension from one-third to one-tenth of the season. In other words, a student completing 10 hours of community service would reduce the suspension from three to two games, while one completing 20 hours would reduce it from three games to one game. Any student with a previous athletic code of conduct violation is not eligible for the athletic suspension reduction policy.

Zunkel said the community service mentioned in the code is separate from any sentence handed down by the court. He said suspensions are effective immediately and do not require court proceedings to be completed first.

"All of the cited individuals are aware of the policy and guidelines," Zunkel said.

Although the Illinois High School Athletic Association (IHSA) governs high schools sports in Illinois, an IHSA spokeswoman said rules regarding suspensions for drugs, alcohol or tobacco is up to individual schools. For instance, Rockridge High School, another Mercer County school, requires a suspension for 25 percent of the season and a formal assessment by an "appropriate outside agency. The student will follow any educational and/or treatment recommended by the agency to its conclusion. Progress in this program will be assessed by the Student Assistance Program team."

A second violation calls for suspension for one calendar year, while a third violation suspends the student from all participation in Rockridge extracurricular activities.

If a first offender at Rockridge voluntarily admits to the assistant principal/athletic director or head coach to the offense, the suspension is reduced by 10 percent.

"The purpose of this provision is to encourage the student participant to take responsibility for his/her actions/decisions," according to the school's extracurricular code. "The voluntary admission may not be used if the rule infraction is already known to the principal and/or assistant principal/athletic director."