Wayne Hills High School football team disqualified from state playoffs
The Wayne Hills High School football team was disqualified from the state playoffs due to the participation of ineligible players, according to a school press release.
Wayne Hills High School officials self-reported what is being called the season-long participation of brothers who they say failed to establish a bona fide change of residence.
The Hayek brothers have been called some of the stars of the team. Together they have 18 touchdowns. They transferred to Wayne Hills from Saint Joe's Montvale last year. The state says they never showed a change of address. But attorney Darren Del Sardo says all the paperwork is correct and he is appealing the decision.
"If they felt that for any reason my clients don't understand they shouldn't play this year. So be it. But don't penalize all the other kids in that program," Del Sardo says.
A meeting was held Wednesday morning with the players' parents and the school superintendent to break it to them that their season was over. Del Sardo says that the decision was made before the Hayeks were able to tell their side of the story.
Parents and other players were rightfully upset.
"[My son] couldn't even speak he was so upset. They are all so distraught and upset over this," says football mom Marsha Alechammas. "They worked so hard for this. I just can't believe our officials in Wayne would throw our kids under the bus."
The school district is now joining parents in challenging the ruling.
An attorney for one of the families says he hopes to have a hearing with an administrative law judge on Thursday.
NJSIAA officials say their actions follow what they've done in the past.
Wayne Hills has a record of 8-1 and was slated for the No. 1 spot in the playoffs. If the decision stands, the team's record will be demoted to 0-9.
It's still unclear why Wayne officials were compelled to alert the state. Head coach Wayne Demikoff did not answer calls made by News 12 New Jersey for comment.