Two football coaches from Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley high schools have been suspended from participating in upcoming games after the Sept. 7 crosstown rivalry game ended with an altercation.
Wayne Demikoff, the head coach at Wayne Hills, reportedly told players he was suspended for this week’s practices and the Patriots’ game at West Milford on Friday.
The head coach of Wayne Valley’s team, Roger Kotlarz, confirmed on Monday that one of his assistants was involved in the incident, but he declined to name the coach.
Demikoff, a social studies teacher at Wayne Hills, did not return a call seeking comment.
David Drozjock, the athletic director at Wayne Valley, declined to comment.
Schools Superintendent Mark Toback said the incident happened after the game, in which Wayne Hills beat Wayne Valley, 14-9. Toback said the incident was reported to him by one of the coaches involved.
“Unfortunately, personal issues among coaches were played out in front of football players and cheerleaders,” Toback said. “Coaches are held to professional standards, as well as standards of sportsmanship, and that includes the need to resolve disputes in an appropriate manner.”
Administrators at the high schools investigated the incident, Toback said.
Citing privacy of K-12 district employees, Toback would not discuss details of the investigation or what exactly transpired between the coaches.
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Kotlarz, who teaches physical education at Wayne Valley, said his unnamed assistant will not be on the sidelines when the Indians travel to Oakland to face Indian Hills on Friday.
The annual football game between the district’s high schools is a “very special” contest, making the altercation even more “disappointing,” Kotlarz said. “We’re really just looking to move forward from it.”
“No one’s happy that something like that occurred,” he went on, “but our concern always is about our team, and that’s the only thing I can control. We preach accountability with our kids, and there’s no difference for our coaches.”
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