AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - Agawam's superintendent of schools has announced that the annual Thanksgiving football game against West Springfield will go on as planned, the week after hazing allegations surfaced against some of the team's players. Superintendent Dr. Mary Czajkowski made the announcement on Monday that the game would proceed as scheduled, but that the traditional bonfire has been cancelled.
On Wednesday, administrators found out about a reported hazing incident that happened inside the boys' locker room that night after practice. Four players have been suspended from both the team and the school for 10 days, and will not appear at the game. Czajkowski said that the team's head coach is on administrative leave.
Czajkowski told 22News that none of the seven allegedly hazed students were hurt. School hazing has been against Massachusetts law since 1985, and on Monday, Czajkowski called the incident a "crime."
On Friday, West Springfield Athletic Director Cathy Meader had told 22News that she had been informed that the Thanksgiving game was to continue as planned, but over the weekend the Boston Globe reported that Czajkowski would be making the final decision Monday as to whether or not the game would happen.
There is a section on hazing in the Agawam High School Athletic handbook, which reads: "Hazing - any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization or team which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of a student is not allowed. Such conduct is a crime under Massachusetts law and will not be tolerated."