By Mary Cunningham

Three 17-year-old football players at Conestoga High in Berwyn have been charged in connection with an Oct. 15 hazing incident where they allegedly violated a 14-year-old freshman with a broom handle.

The Associated Press reports that the unnamed students were charged as juveniles with “assault, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats and other offenses.”

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said that the team had a tradition called “No Gay Thursday,” where all “gay” behavior was allowed. From the report:

Authorities said the assault occurred after underclassmen were told to strip to their underwear and clean the team locker room at the school in Berwyn, about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The 14-year-old stripped to his boxers, but when he decided he wanted no further part of it and tried to leave the locker room, he was blocked, held down and attacked, the prosecutor said.

The 14-year-old was arrogant about making the varsity team, and that rankled the older players, Hogan said.

“It just happened to be a perfect storm of this ‘No Gay Thursday’ tradition and them not liking this freshman and taking it out on him in a pretty horrible way,” he told the AP.

Hogan said that the coaching staff appeared to have no knowledge of any of the players’ behavior. Despite that, the school suspended head coach John Vogan when the charges were announced.

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