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COVENTRY TOWNSHIP -- A Summit County high school has suspended 11 wrestlers for an alleged hazing incident that could end with criminal charges.

The students are accused of punching, kicking and using a broom handle to beat freshman wrestlers before a match at Coventry High School.

Deputies say this is still an ongoing investigation.

They say they have been interviewing the alleged victims and suspects for the past two days.

The district says it will not tolerate this type of behavior.

They say that, before the last home wrestling match of the season, 11 upperclassmen allegedly showed up an hour early at the high school.

Without permission, Superintendent Russell Chaboudy says the students lured eight freshman to the locker room where they were punched and kicked repeatedly.

"This is disappointing. We have some great kids but nobody attempted to stop it and no one reported it to an adult and that is really disappointing to us as well," said Chaboudy.

News of the alleged hazing incident spread quickly throughout the school.

Students find it hard to believe that star athletes, with good reputations, would harm other students.

"I've played football and sports before. I see people mess around in the locker room, but when it gets taken this far, it's not right," said student Danny Yurick.

"I think it's awful and hard to believe really," said student Hailey Harris.

"If it's true, I'm really disappointed in them and it's just hard to believe it's actually happening. People shouldn't treat each other like that," said student Kathy Grant.

Superintendent Chaboudy says sometimes good students make bad choices.

He hopes this incident sends a message that hazing and bullying won't be tolerated.

"This is a teachable moment as well. Not only for our student athletes, but for student athletes all over Ohio."

The wrestling coach has also been suspended, pending the outcome of this investigation.

The superintendent says the coach was not at the school at the time of the alleged hazing.

The school cannot comment on the condition of the freshman students, but says they were able to take part in a wrestling match this last weekend.

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