By BJ Koubaroulis
Two-time state champion wrestler Dan Scanlan has been dismissed from the Loudoun County High School wrestling team.
"There was an incident after the Loudoun Valley [versus] Loudoun County game, "said Loudoun County head wrestling coach Troy Mezzatesta. "The students involved were reprimanded. One of those students was Dan. "
Scanlan, a senior who competed in the 189-pound weight class, was involved in a fight Friday night after the basketball game at Loudoun County High School. As a result, he received an unspecified school suspension in addition to his removal from the wrestling team.
"Who started it and all that is up for debate, "said Mezzatesta. "It depends on what account you listen to.
"I ruled on my part of the decision, but the principal and athletic director had a say, "added Mezzatesta.
Scanlan is currently ranked first in the State AA rankings by mattalkonline.com. He had accumulated a perfect 15-0 record on the season and was one win away from notching the 100th victory of his career. It was widely believed that Scanlan would graduate with three state championships to his name.
Loudoun County Athletic Director Ken Wright had no comment and in accordance with the law, Public Information Officer Wayde Byard could not comment on the specific punishment that Scanlan received.
According to the student athlete handbook that every athlete signs at the beginning of the season, "Any athlete or manager who is participating in the athletic program and who becomes involved in a situation which is detrimental to the team and/or school can expect disciplinary action, in accordance with school rules for behavior of student, deemed appropriate by the coach and local school administration. "
Mezzatesta, in his ninth year as a coach overall and in his fourth year at Loudoun County, added that "without a doubt "this was the most difficult coaching decision he has had to make.
Though it appears that "the facts are stacked against him, "said Mezzatesta, according to Byard, Scanlan can appeal his punishment to the deputy superintendent.
"The school board is the last recourse, "added Byard.
It is unknown whether Scanlan will appeal the punishment.
Mezzatesta would welcome Scanlan back to the team if "new facts were brought to light, "he said.
"He's apologized to the team and said he hoped that they would forgive him for not thinking on behalf of the team, "said Mezzatesta. "He's apologized to me and as much as we talked about him being a three-time state champion, he felt like he let me down and he expressed that. It's not the end of the world, but I hope to see him compete in college and reassert himself in that arena. "
Scanlan could not be reached for comment.