Strasburg boys basketball games suspended

Strasburg’s junior varsity and varsity boys basketball practices and games have been suspended pending further investigation and until further notice, according to a statement released by Superintendent Jeremy Raley on Thursday afternoon.

“Earlier this week, the Shenandoah County Public Schools received what initially appears to be substantial allegations about physical misconduct among student athletes participating in the basketball program at Strasburg High School,” Raley stated in the release.

Strasburg postponed its JV and varsity basketball games with Warren County on Tuesday night. The Rams were supposed to play Shenandoah County rival Central on Thursday, but it was announced Wednesday night that the game has been canceled and will not be made up.

“At this time, we are working cooperatively with local officials, including law enforcement, to gather the facts related to this situation,” Raley stated in the release. “We are also taking the action necessary to protect our students from behavior that is not and will not be tolerated by our school division, including any possible retaliation for reporting of allegations.”

“Our school division takes student participation in athletic and other extracurricular events very seriously,” Raley stated in the release. “We promote and encourage student involvement in these activities. The information that we have, however, indicates that continued student participation in both the boy JV and Varsity basketball practices and competitions at Strasburg High School is not in our students’ best interest at this time. Due to the serious nature of the allegations, and in an effort to preserve the integrity of the fact-finding and review process, the participation of our student athletes in these basketball practices and competitions is being suspended pending further review and until further notice.”

Raley noted in the release that he could not comment on specific personnel or student discipline matters. He said in the release that when the safety and well-being of students may have been compromised they are committed to “initiating a review and taking prompt interim and further action, as may be merited.”

Strasburg varsity boys basketball coach Matt Hiserman is Strasburg’s athletic director. He was not at the girls basketball game on Wednesday night against Warren County. He is in his third year as boys basketball coach, after replacing longtime coach Millson French, who retired in 2013.

The Rams are 7-5 on the season in varsity boys basketball. Their most recent game was a 47-39 road loss to Madison County on Jan. 7. Before the loss to Madison County the Rams had won four of their last five games. The game against Central would also have been a Conference 35 contest, both teams are 1-2 in conference play.

It’s not the first time this year Strasburg’s sports teams have had some turmoil. Strasburg had four players leave the varsity football team during the season, in which the Rams finished 5-6.

Strasburg has 14 players on the varsity football team, and 15 on the JV team, which is coached by Jordan Hardy.

The Rams’ next scheduled game is at home on Wednesday against Rappahannock County. The JV game is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m.

After sending out a news release, Raley did not return calls to The Northern Virginia Daily.

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com