Surprised. Shocked. Astonished.
Those are just some of the adjectives Doylestown residents used while reacting to word this week that players on Central Bucks West High School’s football team allegedly participated in hazing activities.
Administrators decided to cut the Bucks’ season short as a result.
As he stood outside of a hoagie shop on State Street, Luke Vrancken called the allegations disgraceful.
“Sports is about the brotherhood and the teammates and how you come together as a family and as a team and this is no part of it. That’s just demeaning,” said Vrancken.
Ethan Mercure had a simpler word to describe the situation: stupid.
“What’s the point of it?” said Mercure.
According to a letter sent out to parents and staff, rookies on the school’s football team were expected to participate in several “humiliating” and “inappropriate” initiations.
The letter, penned by Central Bucks School District Superintendent David P. Weitzel and posted on the school’s website, explains that newcomers were told to grab another player’s genitals while fully clothed.
There were two games left on the Bucks’ schedule, including Friday night’s homecoming game against rival Central Bucks East High School.
Fran McMonagle said canceling the season was the right thing to do.
“It’ll hurt where it needs to hurt for them to stop because I think, unfortunately, it’s in the football culture to be big, tough guys,” she said. “I think that hurts the boys and they won’t do it. And the coaches will be a little bit more inclined to make sure it’s not going on.”
The allegations are part of a hard fall from grace for a truly storied program.
For more than three decades, Central Bucks West was the most dominant in Pennsylvania. Period. The Bucks lost just 22 games over that time and won four state championships.
“To live in Doylestown from about 1970 until about 2000 was to think that there were five professional sports teams in the Philadelphia area. The Eagles, the Flyers, the Phillies, the Sixers and the CB West Bucks,” said Mike Sielski, a neighborhood resident and Philadelphia Inquirer columnist
Police and administrators are investigating the allegations, which came just weeks after similar ones ended the season for the team in Sayreville, New Jersey.
Earlier this month, seven players were charged in connection to with allegations. They’re each facing a range of charges, including aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy and hazing.