Westerville South High School junior wrestler Aaron Morton, who originally was expected to miss the Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 23, at Marysville because of a suspension, has been reinstated, according to athletics director Josh DeVoll.
Morton was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct during the 160-pound final in the All-North Tournament on Feb. 9 at Dublin Jerome. That carries a two-event suspension, according to Ohio High School Athletic Association policy.
Morton missed a match against Westerville Central on Feb. 14 and the sectional was expected to be the second event, ending his season. However, a late addition to the schedule allowed the Wildcats to compete in the Nye Cardinal Classic on Feb. 16 at St. Charles.
Originally, the St. Charles tournament was not expected to count as the second event because it officially was added to the schedule after the incident.
DeVoll, however, said that since the tournament was a tentative event before the incident, a committee comprised of school administrators opted to count it as the second event. That decision was made Feb. 20.
“Before the incident at Jerome, (coach) George (Crooks) had already reached out and had spoken with the St. Charles coach about getting into that tournament,” DeVoll said. “They were able to fit us in. Aaron had to fulfill a two-event consequence from (the OHSAA) for being ejected.
“When we made the original decision, we didn’t have anything on the schedule. We had to make a decision based on the information we had then.”
At sectional, the top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 1 and 2 at Hilliard Darby.
“We met with Aaron, we went through a process and we put some more supports around him and had him provide additional restitution to help him grow as a person, as a wrestler (and) as a student-athlete,” DeVoll said. “We feel that enough has been done on that end to allow him to participate in the sectional. We put some things into place to make this a learning experience and to expect it doesn’t happen again.”