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Wrestling tournament takes place without Starpoint team

Starpoint's varsity wrestling season was canceled this week after allegations of misconduct by one or more team members.

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — The Starpoint Central School District canceled the varsity wrestling season this week after allegations of inappropriate conduct surfaced.

A wrestling tournament that was supposed to happen Saturday at Starpoint was moved to North Tonawanda instead.

Earlier this week, Starpoint's superintendent canceled the varsity wrestling season citing allegations of inappropriate conduct by one or more members of the varsity wrestling team.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is investigating those claims. 2 On Your Side on Saturday asked the sheriff whether he can tell us anything new.

"Not at this point in time. We have an active criminal investigation into some serious misconduct by one or more wrestlers on the Starpoint wrestling team. Being that it's an active investigation, I'm not going to talk about what the alleged conduct was, but we are still conducting that investigation," Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti said.

A group of parents on Thursday petitioned the court to allow their sons to continue the season and wrestle in Saturday's tournament, saying it was unfair to punish the whole team when only certain students are accused of inappropriate conduct. A judge sided with the district and did not allow the students to participate.

The attorney representing the parents who filed the petition alleges two team members were involved in two roughhousing incidents with another wrestler last month.

"I don't think that the whole team should be punished for, you know, one or two kids' mistakes," Lancaster wrestler Ricky Andres said.

Added Williamsville North wrestler Hussein Zenki: "I think they should have waited until the season actually ended to finish all of this legal matter and not take away seniors' seasons that could potentially have them college offers."

Another Williamsville North wrestler, Rocco Urbanczyk, said: "I don't think it's fair to the whole team. I mean, a couple of the kids, maybe I can understand. But as the team as a whole, they would have had so many state champs and the seniors, they didn't deserve it."

Toni Mathews is the mom of two wrestlers at Niagara Wheatfield.

"The rules are the rules, and the law is the law, and everyone has a job to do, so they have to do their job and find out the truth, and unfortunately it's sad that that the positive kids, the kids that didn't get in trouble had to suffer," Mathews said.

"That's what's so sad that they suffered. The innocent ones. The innocent children suffered."

Since the initial statement earlier this week, the school district has not released any additional information, and the sheriff would not say how many students are involved in the investigation.

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