Sayreville football program reinstated for next season
Months after the program was canceled in the wake of a hazing scandal, football will return to Sayreville War Memorial High School. The announcement was made during Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting.
"I believe very strongly after the last several months that football is a very important part of our athletic programs and our community and therefore, in consultation with our Board of Education, I am pleased to announce to you this evening that we will have a 2015 football season," Labbe said during the meeting. "I commend the board and the community for their continued, unwavering support."
Initially, Labbe was unsure if the football program would be reinstated. In October, the school district canceled the remainder of Bombers' 2014 season following allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying within the program.
Seven students ages 15-17 on the Bombers football team were charged with juvenile delinquency by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office in connection with four separate alleged attacks on underclassmen that took place in the high school locker room. Three of the students were charged with sexual assault.
Authorities say the charges stem from incidents that allegedly took place on various dates between Sept. 19 and 29 of this year and involved one or more of the defendants holding the victims against their will, “while other juvenile defendants improperly touched the juvenile victims in a sexual manner.” The students were suspended from school and their cases will be tried in Juvenile Court.
When football returns next season, however, it will do so under a new athletic director. According to NBC 4 New York, the high school's athletic director, John Kohutanycz, will resign effective June 30. Kohutanycz was suspended with pay last month. "He's expected to go on unpaid leave on April 1 before the resignation takes effect," NBC reported.
School officials have yet to announce who will coach the football team in the new season. Last month, coach George Najjar was stripped of his role as strength and conditioning coach for the winter, spring and summer. Najjar had been suspended from his coaching and teaching duties since October in light of the hazing scandal.
- Storied Sayreville football program will resume play in 2015 / myCentralJersey.com
- Football to Return To Sayreville High School Next Season as Athletic Director Resigns / NBC 4 New York