School board votes to let wrestlers compete after photo controversy

STATE CENTER, Ia. — West Marshall school board members voted Monday to allow members of the school’s wrestling to compete in Wednesday’s state dual meet tournament after a photo of the team degrading its opponent surfaced on a social media account.

The seven person board voted 6-1 in favor of allowing the team to compete.

West Marshall superintendent Ned Sellers said each member of the team who was involved in the picture will be required to write letters of apology to multiple media outlets and perform 40 hours of community service.

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The photo in question, obtained by the Register last week, shows members of the West Marshall team standing together with one letter written on the triceps of each wrestler. Together, the letters spell out the phrase “F—THEDONS.” The picture was taken before fifth-ranked West Marshall’s Class 1-A regional meet win against No. 6 Don Bosco of Gilbertville last week.

Officials from the two high schools said last week that they reached an agreement on how to handle the situation but neither West Marshall principal Jim Henrich nor Don Bosco principal Eric Eckerman would comment on specifics.

Iowa High School Athletic Association assistant executive Alan Beste said last week that if the two schools couldn’t reach an agreement, then the athletic association would step in.

West Marshall coach Lonnie Ferguson declined to comment Monday night.

School board votes to let wrestlers compete after photo controversy
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