ROXBURY, N.J. - The Wayne Hills High School football team, which Roxbury High School's team was supposed to play Friday in a playoff game, was disqualified Tuesday from the tournament for violating state guidelines.
The school self-reported the violation to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), acknowledging several of its players were not actually living in Wayne Township. Wayne Hills, 8-1, was the top seeded team in the North 1, Group 4 sectional bracket.
The move alters the seeding of teams playing in the tournament. As of now, it looks like Roxbury is the No. 7 seed and will play at No. 2 Wayne Valley, a team that has a 7-2 record.
The Roxbury Gaels were 4-4 before the Wayne Hills disqualification but the Wayne Hills' disqualification means the team's record changes to 5-3. The Gaels lost to Wayne Hills 42-36 in their season opener in September.
"The district is affirmatively obligated to directly report to the NJSIAA all potential violatios of NJSIAA by-laws," said a statement from the Wayne Township Board of Education. "After reviewing the scenario and the appropriate documentation, the NJSIAA notified the administration that certain students of the Wayne Hills football team were deemed ineligible because they did not have a bona fide change of address."
The NJSIAA decided to disqualify Wayne Hills from all 2016 playoff games and ruled that it has to forfeit any games it won during the football season. The Wayne Hills Patriots were state champions in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, according to their website.
Roxbury football coach Cosmo Lorusso could not be reached for comment. The NJSIAA's action means Lorusso's record of wins is now 101, more than any other coach in Roxbury history.