The Schalick High School wrestling team will be back on the mat next season.
Pittsgrove Township School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Hoopes sent out emails and left voicemails for wrestlers’ parents Friday informing them the program would be reinstated for the 2019-20 season.
“The Board of Education fully supported the reinstatement of the wrestling program,” Hoopes said. “We’re ready to move forward and we didn’t want to wait too long to get the process going.”
Hoopes said there were “a number of parents” who expressed concern over the last two months about bringing the wrestling program back. He also said the program has a lot of work to do before the mats are rolled out, but couldn’t comment on whether that included a search for a new coaching staff.
The Pittsgrove Board of Education canceled wrestling for the 2018-19 season in the wake of allegations of hazing. Four wrestlers were charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and other offenses following an incident in December.
According to the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, a fellow student was stripped, restrained and threatened with a broomstick in the shower area of the school.
After the program was canceled, senior Curtis Thomas was the only Schalick wrestler who transferred to another school. Thomas and his father moved to Franklin Township and he enrolled at Delsea High School.
Following an eligibility ruling by the NJISAA, Thomas was cleared to wrestle on Jan. 23. He is 14-2 and was scheduled to wrestle in the Region 8 quarterfinals on Friday at Egg Harbor Township.
Hoopes stated that the district took steps to improve security and policies within the school limits, including the locker rooms.
Schalick compiled a 17-7 mark under Mike Cullen last season.