Southern's wrestling team has been withdrawn from the NJSIAA Team Championship Tournament, the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association announced Tuesday afternoon.

"As a result of self-reported non-compliance with NJSIAA regulations, Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin (South Group V) has been withdrawn from the state championship team wrestling tournament," NJSIAA executive director Steve Timko said in  a statement."

The violation relates to a procedural error with the weight certification of Southern's wrestlers before the start of the season, Southern Regional principal Eric Wilhelm told the Asbury Park Press.

Southern's wrestlers will be eligible for the NJSIAA Individual Championships, which begins Feb. 17 with the district tournaments, as long as they re-certify and undergo hydration testing this week. The Rams will host the District 29 tournament on Saturday Feb. 18.

Southern, the No. 2 seed in the South Jersey Group V section, defeated Rancocas, 48-9, on Monday in the quarterfinals and was scheduled to face third-seeded Egg Harbor Township in the semifinals on Wednesday. Egg Harbor will now advance to the sectional final against the winner of the other semifinal between top-seeded Howell and Eastern.

Southern was the defending South Jersey Group V champion as well as the reigning overall Group V champion.

This is the second major piece of news surrounding Southern's wrestling team in the last week. Last Wednesday it was revealed that senior Seon Bowker had transferred to Rancocas Valley and was eligible immediately because of a H.I.B. (harassment, intimidation, bullying) allegation and investigation. Bowker did not wrestle Monday night when Southern and Rancocas Valley met in the first round of the sectional tournament.


Wrestling editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights. 


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