Yonkers High School boys soccer player Chris Cruz was suspended Thursday for 16 games by Section 1 for allegedly shoving an official during a 3-2 overtime loss to Scarsdale’s B team last month at Fleming Field.
Cruz, a senior midfielder, was issued the suspension by a committee made up of area athletic directors and principals. A hearing in which lawyers were present for Section 1 and the Yonkers school district was held Monday.
“This is an unfortunate situation,” Section 1 executive director Jen Simmons said in a statement to The Journal News. “The committee charged to review this situation took into account information from numerous sources. They reviewed all materials and listened to all statements and testimony prior to rendering a decision. The NYSPHSAA handbook requires this to be addressed at this level and allows for up to one full calendar year for such an offense. The committee felt the punishment given was appropriate.”
The game between Yonkers and Scarsdale B was played Sept. 17. Referee Pat Godfrey called a penalty kick in the opening minute of overtime that resulted in the winning goal. Several Yonkers players reacted harshly. Godfrey handed out three red cards, precipitating the alleged shove by Cruz.
The 16-game suspension eliminates the possibility of Cruz playing in any more high school soccer games. Cruz’s suspension will carry over if he elects to play any winter or spring sports. Yonkers has the right to appeal the suspension.