Shoreham-Wading River School District announced it is putting its top coach back on the field.
In an email release, Superintendent Gerard Poole said they would be reinstating Aden Smith as the head coach of the varsity football team starting back next Monday.
“The district has decided to reinstate the varsity football team’s head coach, effective September 23,” Poole said in a statement. “We are proud of our team which is off to a great start this year. We thank the assistant coaches who stepped up to lead the team until now, and we look forward to a continued great season.”
Smith was removed from his position after an alleged incident during a pre-season multi-team scrimmage at Islip high school. Players had got involved in what was described as a “scuffle,” and coach Smith had allegedly become involved. At a school board meeting Sept. 13 nearly the entire football team showed up in their jerseys to support the coach, saying his only intent was to defend his players.
“That day of the scuffle, he did nothing but stand up for his players,” team captain and quarterback Xavier Arline said during the board meeting. “If a scuffle is going to happen, we rely on our coach — we expect our coach to come to the rescue. If we can’t count on him, who can we count on?”
Smith, a teacher at the Longwood School District, did not immediately respond to email requests for comment.
While Smith was removed, the two assistant coaches took up the task of running the team, leading them to two convincing wins against Bayport-Blue Point and Port Jefferson.
With the reinstatement date set for Sept. 23, Smith will miss the third game of the season against Southampton set to take place Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.
Smith will then retake the field Sept. 27 at home in a game against Elwood/John Glenn. Game time is set for 6 p.m.