WELCOME TO HUDSON VALLEY SPORTS REPORT!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
* HIGH SCHOOLS *
HS BOYS BASKETBALL: Officials vs. Cancer Tournament, At John Jay High School — Millbrook vs. Marlboro, 12:30 p.m.
HS BOYS BASKETBALL: Officials vs. Cancer Tournament, At John Jay High School — John Jay vs. Cornwall, 2:15 p.m.
HS BOYS BASKETBALL: Officials vs. Cancer Tournament, At John Jay High School — Roosevelt vs. Arlington, 4 p.m.
HS BOYS BASKETBALL: Officials vs. Cancer Tournament, At John Jay High School — Red Hook vs. Middletown, 5:45 p.m.
HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: O’Neill at Haldane, 11 a.m.
HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: Newburgh at Kennedy Catholic, 1:30 p.m.
HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lourdes at Mahopac, 3 p.m.
HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: Ketcham at Arlington, 4 p.m.
HS GIRLS BASKETBALL: Pawling at Webutuck, 5 p.m.
HS WRESTLING: Section One Qualifying Tournament, 9 a.m. — Division 2 (At Horace Greeley) — Arlington, Roy C. Ketcham, Eastchester, Horace Greeley, Lakeland/Panas, Peekskill, Scarsdale, Yonkers and Yorktown
HS WRESTLING: Section One Qualifying Tournament, 9 a.m. — Division 3 (At Carmel HS) — Brewster, Carmel, Mahopac, East Ramapo, Mount Vernon, Rye, Tappan Zee and White Plains
HS WRESTLING: Section One Qualifying Tournament, 9 a.m. — Division 1 (At Sleepy Hollow HS) — Beacon, Fox Lane, John Jay-East Fishkill, New Rochelle, Nyack, Ossining, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow and Suffern
HS BOYS SWIMMING: OCIAA Championship Meet, at Newburgh Free Academy, 11 a.m.
HS INDOOR TRACK: Section Nine, Class B Championships, at West Point, 1 p.m.
HS GYMNASTICS: Roosevelt at Kingston, 4 p.m.
HS ICE HOCKEY: Mahopac vs. Carmel, at Brewster Ice Arena, 9:10 p.m.
* COLLEGES *
WOMEN’S WATER POLO — Marist vs. Bucknell, at Providence, R.I., 9 a.m.; Marist vs. Harvard, at Providence, R.I., 1:40 p.m.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: SUNY New Paltz at SUNY Plattsburgh, 2 p.m.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: RIT at Vassar, 2 p.m.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: SUNY New Paltz at No. 24 SUNY Plattsburgh, 2 p.m.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: RIT at Vassar, 4 p.m.
* NEW YORK PRO SPORTS *
NBA: Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
NHL: Washington at New Jersey, 1 p.m.
NHL: New York Rangers at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
NHL: New York Islanders at Detroit, 2 p.m.

Former Marlboro players, parents file federal lawsuit alleging verbal and physical abuse by football coach Rich Ward

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

In a move that had been expected since summer, a lawsuit was filed in United States District Court Northern District of New York in Albany accusing Marlboro High School football coach Rich Ward of verbal and physical abuse.

The suit was filed by Thomas Corcoran, who previously coached with the Marlboro football program, and Al and Kerstin Votta, on behalf of their children Thomas Corcoran III and Justin and Ralph Votta. Former players Jimmy Farrett, Dominic Santora and Dylan West are also plaintiffs.

Read the lawsuit filing here. NOTE: Raw language: Marlboro-Rich Ward Lawsuit

Apparently unsatisfied with three separate internal investigations done by the school district, the group filed suit Monday against Ward, the Marlboro School District and Marlboro School Superintendent Raymond Castellani. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages against Ward and Castellani, and asks that Ward be relieved of his duties as Marlboro’s coach.

The suit not only accuses Ward of physical and verbal abuse, but also of instructing his players to intentionally injure opposing players from New Paltz and Spackenkill high schools, respectively, and alleges that Ward used a racial epithet against his own African-American player, T.J. Henderson. Henderson’s mother was quoted over the summer in the Southern Ulster Times disputing the allegation.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Goshen attorney Michael Sussman. It is not known if Sussman is handling the case pro bono as part of a history of high-profile civil rights cases against schools and school districts, including at least two other suits involving high school athletes. In 2003 Sussman successfully argued that Warwick High School failed to give due process to a volleyball player who had been suspended; three years later, he won the reinstatement of a Warwick football player who had been kicked off the football team, arguing the player’s future was being compromised as he had a legitimate chance to earn a college scholarship through his athletic achievements. The player was restored to the team.

Ward, who was hired in 2010, is 40-5 over four years leading the Iron Dukes, including three consecutive Section Nine, Class B championships and back-to-back appearances in the New York State semifinals.

He is alleged, among other things, of using the F-word on multiple occasions; of grabbing players’ facemasks and jerking their heads; of using a sexist slur against Marlboro athletic director Jonnah O’Donnell; of using a racial epithet against Henderson; and of instructing his players to injure Spackenkill’s Josh Riley and New Paltz’s Khariff LaBoy and his cousin, Darryl Clark.

Former Spackenkill player Nick Celestino tweeted:

It is not known if the attorneys for the Marlboro Central School District will represent Ward, Castellani and the district, or if, as individuals, Ward and Castellani will retain their own counsel.

One Response to Former Marlboro players, parents file federal lawsuit alleging verbal and physical abuse by football coach Rich Ward

  1. Lisa Reply

    December 6, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Coach Ward is an awesome coach, these allegations are insane. Coach should be recognized as a leader. I am for Coach Ward.

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