Maine West soccer program to continue unimpeded

Maine West High School’s varsity boys soccer program will continue its season unimpeded despite several players being barred from play and five coaches being temporarily reassigned while police investigate allegations of hazing.

The Maine West Warriors boys soccer team, which is 16-1-2 and only one win from tying the school’s soccer program record, is scheduled to play St. Patrick Wednesday, Oct. 10, the last game of the regular season. Postseason tournament play begins next week.

“It doesn’t affect them in terms of being able to compete as scheduled,” Maine Township High School District 207 spokesman David Beery said. “There are still 17 or 18 athletes on the varsity roster, even without the players who are not being permitted to play. Like a lot of varsity teams, they probably will call up a few of the top-performing sophomores and freshmen to join the squad for the tournament also.”

Beery said the Des Plaines school’s soccer program has been successful in recent years so there are plenty of students participating. “It’s just a popular sport at West,” he said.

The Warriors’ first post-season tournament game is Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The players’ suspension is in effect pending the outcome of the district’s internal investigation, as well as investigations by police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, after which they could face disciplinary action, Beery said.

Among the coaches reassigned with pay are Mike Divincenzo, varsity head coach for boys and girls soccer, and Emilio Rodriguez, freshman boys and girls soccer coach, who have also been removed from classroom teaching pending the outcome of the investigations, officials said.

District officials have declined to give details about the nature of the inappropriate conduct but confirmed a parent reported it to school officials on Sept. 28. They also will not say where the coaches have been reassigned.

Des Plaines Police Cmdr. Nick Treantafeles confirmed Tuesday there is a preliminary investigation into allegations of a hazing incident involving minors on school grounds, but said further details likely won’t be available for a week.

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