Disturbing High School Wrestling News
When I started writing this column I had decided that I was going to cover everything about wrestling. So when I came across something as disturbing as the story that I read in this morning’s paper I had to write about it as well as post the original article!
I am one of those people that read the news online every morning because I like to be aware of what is going on. But this morning this article about a high school wrestling team accused of hazing! They are all suspended and are all facing explosion!
Two stupid, dangerous acts could ruin all of their futures! They will be very lucky if none of them face criminal charges! I always find things like this every disturbing that teens or college kids can find things like this ok. It is just disgusting! Well, I’m going to get off my soapbox and let you read the article. I will keep you all updated as the story develops!
Wrestlers could be expelled
Five boys on Deltona High's team are accused of hazing, and 3 of them face criminal charges.
By Stephen Hudak | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted February 4, 2005
DELTONA -- Three members of Deltona High School's best-ever wrestling team were accused Thursday of hog-tying a learning-disabled teammate and repeatedly zapping him with a grill igniter.
None of the boys was arrested, but Volusia County deputy sheriffs filed complaints with the state attorney seeking felony charges of aggravated battery and false imprisonment.
"It was a prank that went too far," sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. He said no one was seriously injured.
The three and two other wrestlers, including the 17-year-old victim, also accused of hazing, have been recommended for expulsion, spokeswoman Nancy Wait said. School officials suspended all five.
Deltona High School Principal Gary Marks asked deputies to investigate.
School officials said two hazing incidents occurred in a wrestling practice room at the high school Tuesday before the team's final home meet against West Orange High and Lake Highland Prep.
Marks said officials learned of the hazing incidents Wednesday morning when the 17-year-old, who deputies say participated in the first incident, told a physical-education teacher about the second.
Davidson said the first involved a freshman wrestler of slight build who was hog-tied and had his mouth taped shut before he was released unharmed by teammates. The freshman wasn't zapped.
Davidson said the 17-year-old was the next victim.
In a news release, deputies said his teammates tackled him, hog-tied him with a jump rope and used the flint-sparking device to shock him 20 times, despite his pleas to stop and let him up.
Davidson said a heavier teammate held the victim down by sitting on him.
The State Attorney's Office must decide whether to charge the students, who could be prosecuted as adults or juveniles. The Orlando Sentinel does not identify suspects charged as juveniles.
The Sentinel also will not identify the 17-year-old victim or his father, who said his son was humiliated by the incident. The father said he withdrew his son Thursday from Deltona High School.
He said the boys also yanked down his son's pants and boxers.
"He's never felt like he fit in at that school," said the father, who described his son as learning-disabled. "He wants to be accepted so awful bad. He feels if he goes back, [the students] will hate him even more now than they did before."
The allegations mar the team's best-ever regular season, which ended Wednesday in Winter Springs where Deltona's wrestling squad, depleted by the suspensions, was drubbed, 56-10.
School spokeswoman Wait said the district is conducting an internal inquiry of coach Brian Kells, who has directed Deltona High's program since 2000. "Obviously these boys were unsupervised," she said.
The principal said Kells was at a faculty meeting at the time.
The incident is the first test of the school's hazing policy, which was formally added to the student code of conduct and discipline last school year.
Stephen Hudak can be reached at email@example.com or 386-851-7915.