LOWELL, Mass., Aug. 29, 2008 – Kenny Anderson of Billerica, Mass., has been stripped of the New England championship that he won at 119 pounds last March at the 2008 New England championships.
Anderson had been suspended by Billerica High School the day before the tournament. But he received a temporary restraining order from Middlesex Superior Court allowing him to compete. Anderson, a three-time Massachusetts champion, finished the season 45-0 after beating Danbury sophomore Charlie Costanzo in the championship match, 6-5 with a last-minute escape.
Costanzo is now recognized as the New England champion. Anderson failed to show up for his court appearance on the temporary restraining order. According to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules, if an athlete doesn’t appear in court for a decision on the validity of the temporary restraining order, he forfeits his eligibility for the event.
“He never went back to court to see if his injunction would be upheld,” said Bill Savage, executive director of the New England Council, which hosts the New England Tournament. With Anderson ruled ineligible by the MIAA, the next five finishers each moved up one spot. Costanzo is listed as the 119 champion with a win by disqualification.
The 18-person New England Council voted not to change the team scores because eliminating the points that Anderson earned wouldn’t have changed the top three finishers in the tournament, Savage said.
In March, the Lowell Sun reported that Anderson had been suspended by the administration at Billerica High for being found “in the vicinity, but not in possession of” a tin of chewing tobacco in the school locker room on Thursday the day before the tournament.