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Haverhill High School ends football season amid hazing investigation



HAVERHILL – Haverhill High School’s football season ended abruptly Wednesday because of an alleged hazing incident involving some members of the team.

Students tell WBZ the victim is a freshman at the high school. They say a video made the rounds at school last month, showing apparent lewd behavior by football players as the student was dragged on the ground.

“Everyone was like making fun of him now and all of that,” said student Felix Molina. “All of his football buddies were laughing at it.”

When that video got into the hands of the administration, they shut down the season.

“The investigation is ongoing and significant material was uncovered today which impacts the direction of the investigation and the entire school community,” Superintendent Margaret Marotta said in an email to families.

All future football practices have been cancelled. Future games, including the Thanksgiving home game against Lowell High School, have been forfeited.

Haverhill Mayor Jim Fiorentini said he supports the superintendent’s decision to cancel the Thanksgiving game. “The boys involved in this disgusting incident should be immediately permanently removed from the team,” Fiorentini said in a statement.

Members of the coaching staff have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation. Haverhill Police have been notified.

Parents and guardians are shocked and want the people responsible held accountable.

“For them to think that they can get away with something like that it’s just a shame, horrible,” said grandmother Laurie Cross.

Administrators said hazing, harassment, or retaliation “will be responded to swiftly and it will undoubtedly have lasting repercussions for all those involved.”