Wall High School cancels Thanksgiving football game amid scandal
WALL TOWNSHIP — Amid investigation into hazing accusations involving members of the Wall Township High School football team, the school has canceled its annual Thanksgiving game.
"The decision has been made to end the football season and not play the Thanksgiving Day game. We acknowledge that this is difficult news for many in our community," Wall Schools Superintendent Tracy R. Handerhan said in a written statement on Tuesday.
Wall has played Manasquan on Thanksgiving Day since 2000.
Handerhan also repeated that the Mental Health Association of Monmouth County is working with the high school's counselors to provide support for students.
The superintendent was scheduled to deliver a report on the allegations during Tuesday night's Wall Township Board of Education meeting, set to unfold in the high school auditorium.
The school has so far only confirmed there is an investigation underway by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
A recorded locker room incident was first reported by NJ.com, citing parents who said they viewed a video in which it appears at least six upperclassmen athletes are pinning down a younger athlete and threatening to sexually assault him with the handle of a mop or broom.
Neither the school district nor the prosecutor have provided details citing confidentiality rules meant to protect the privacy of underage defendants.
In a previous statement, the superintendent said she understands "mounting frustration when questions are met without answers due to mandated confidentiality."
Second year of no Thanksgiving game
The tradition of Wall and Manasquan playing each Thanksgiving Day morning started in 2000 — but also did not happen in November 2020 due to the pandemic.
Instead, this year the Manasquan High School Warriors will host the Shore Regional High School Blue Devils for the holiday game.
The Wall Township Crimson Knights forfeited last Friday's playoff game against Delsea High School, in the South Jersey Group 3 Tournament.