7 Wayne Hills Players Sentenced to Probation

Five-month long case brought sweeping changes to the district.

Seven of the nine Wayne Hills High School football players who were charged with aggravated assault last fall were sentenced to probation late last month, according to a report on NorthJersey.com.

The report states that each of the seven players pleaded guilty to simple assault in order to be allowed to enter a juvenile probation program.

The nine players were charged with aggravated assault after police said they .

The incident ignited a firestorm of controversy. Residents in town were often divided on how they thought coach Chris Olsen and district officials should have handled the situation.

District Superintendent Ray Gonzalez declined to comment on the sentences.

"As a matter of policy, Wayne Public Schools does not comment on media reports about its students," Gonzalez said. "The district's focus is on students' education."

Karen Marron and Janine Del Vecchio, co-presidents of the Wayne Coucnil of Parent Teacher Organizations, also declined to comment.

Board of Education President Donald Pavlak Jr. could not be reached for comment. 

The incident prompted district administrators to adopt a coaching the team and remaining the school’s athletic director.

The players were allowed to participate in the team’s first-round state playoff game against Vernon. .

Then-interim Superintendent Michael Roth , or any other extra-curricular activities, but the Board of Education placed a stay on the ban the next day after Roth and the board held a 4-hour, closed-door hearing with players and their legal representatives after the meeting to discuss the charges and the evidence in the case.

The stay was placed pending a hearing to be held later that month at the board's office, "so that additional facts and information can be considered," said board President Donald Pavlak Jr.

The board upheld Roth’s extra-curricular ban and lifted the stay on Nov. 25.

Board trustee Robert Ceberio said in November that the incident had impacted the day-to-day operations in the district, especially at Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley High Schools. Ceberio said the incident on Oct. 29 left a “black mark” on Wayne.

"This is not characteristic of the majority of our 8,700 students who truly reflect the good of our district and community. The Wayne Board of Education believes that violence is unacceptable related to our school, connected to extracurricular activities or in our community," Ceberio said.

An and the . The players, all starters, did not play in the team’s state sectional title game. Hills defeated Old Tappan 15-12, giving the Patriots their second consecutive group state championship and Olsen his eighth in the previous 10 years. Hills came back to win the game in the final three minutes.

“What can I say about these kids,” Olsen said on the field after the game. “At halftime they said, ‘Coach we’re going to win this game’.”

Parents and residents criticized Olsen for choosing not to suspend the players for the team’s first two state playoff games; Olsen is also the school’s athletic director.

The board prohibiting administrators and supervisors from coaching sports teams and acting as advisors of any district athletic, co-curricular, or extra-curricular program.

Dozens of residents and football players to ask officials to amend or reverse the policy. No one on the board made a motion to take such action.

Andrew Monaghan, the only adult at the time the charges were filed, agreed to enter Pre-Trial Intervention, a probationary-like program, NorthJerey.com reported last month.

A who violate the code both on and off school grounds.

Student athletes in either high school and each middle school will have to sign the code of conduct if they want to play sports. Parents of students younger than 18 must also sign it.

“This new code is an extremely positive step forward for the district,” Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said in a statement “Now, students, coaches, and parents alike will know exactly what is considered acceptable.”

The policy states that team coaches are charged with establishing discipline and basic rules for their teams. Coaches also have the right to suspend athletes for “infractions of these rules” and the code.

Scondo March 28, 2012 at 02:39 PM
The young man who was not involved held a press conference this am on 10 10 wins
Wayne's World March 28, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I heard it on the way to work. The intro to the interview (of which 10 seconds was aired) said that scholarship offers dried up in the wake of the accusations. The kid didn't mention that at all in the part that was aired. He basically said his life was made very difficult, mostly because the incident was talked about incessantly at school and he was tired of hearing it. He said that others testified that he was not at the scene but it made no difference in being cleared early. He said he was at a different party and did not witness any of the incident but did mention there was a fight in the garage that seemed to have started the whole thing. Didn't really know what to make of the interview. The part that aired was basically what I mentioned. The kid sounded a little dopey, almost half-asleep, so I don't know if that was a bit of nerves being interviewed or just being a 17 yr old.
Kit Rogers March 28, 2012 at 07:38 PM
That's nice call the kid dopey,,,,,what is wrong with you?
Dory Degen May 19, 2012 at 07:28 PM
real nice lady. you seem to be enjoying this just a sukosh too much.
Harry June 11, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I want to know how are the 2 whom were attacked ??


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »