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SportsHigh SchoolWrestling

Ineligible wrestler costs Brentwood 2 titles

A file photo of Brentwood High School.

A file photo of Brentwood High School. Credit: Ed Betz, 2010

Brentwood's wrestling team will vacate its 2012 Suffolk League I dual-meet and tournament championships because of an ineligible participant, Section XI executive director Ed Cinelli has confirmed. Brentwood retains its Suffolk County tournament title because the wrestler did not participate in that meet, Cinelli said.

"It's an unfortunate and swift penalty," Cinelli said. "When there is an ineligible student-athlete in a competition, the competition is forfeited.''

According to Brentwood coach Ralph Napolitano, the wrestler quit the team in 2008 as a sophomore and rejoined it before this season. Napolitano said he was unaware he had repeated 11th grade during the 2010-11 school year and was in his fifth year of high school.

The ineligible wrestler competed in three League I dual meets, resulting in three forfeits that knocked Brentwood's record down to 3-3. Sachem North gets the League I dual-meet title, while Longwood becomes League I tournament champion.

"While I am embarrassed by this situation, I will adamantly defend my program because I know we do the right thing 100 percent of the time," Napolitano said. "It was an oversight, but I feel it was a total miscarriage of justice to kids who earned it on the mat. It's really disgusting what is happening. We earned it on the mat, fair and square."

"Ultimately, it's my fault," Brentwood athletic director Kevin O'Reilly said. "It is a program that I am very proud of. It is one of the storied programs in Brentwood. This slipped through the cracks."

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