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Eastern Mass Student Who Spit at PHS Player No Longer on Team
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:47PM / Wednesday, March 13, 2024
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WORCESTER, Mass. — A high school basketball player who spat on a member of the Pittsfield High School squad during Monday's Division 3 State Semi-Final has been removed from his school's team as it prepares for Saturday's State Championship game.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Old Rochester Regional School District released a statement saying its investigation confirmed that the player spat on Pittsfield's Malachi Perry in the second half of ORR's Monday victory at Worcester State University.
The statement, on the letterhead of Old Rochester Superintendent Michael S. Nelson, was issued on behalf of Nelson, high school Principal Michael Devoll, Athletic Director Christopher Carrig and varsity boys coach Steve Carvalho.
The district said it learned of the accusation on Tuesday.
"District administration immediately launched an investigation, which confirmed the incident," the statement reads. 
"Old Rochester Regional High School has identified the player involved. He is no longer a member of the Old Rochester Boys Varsity Basketball Team and has since taken responsibility for his actions."
The statement did not name either player involved in the incident.
Perry immediately reacted to the offensive action by his opponent, shoving the Old Rochester player. He was assessed a technical foul and briefly left the game, visibly upset about the incident.
A video of the on-floor confrontation, which came just after a basket by Perry, was widely circulated on social media, and The Berkshire Eagle on Tuesday ran a story based on an interview with Perry about the incident.
The Old Rochester player seen spitting at Perry on the video is identified on the roster as a senior on the team. He scored two points and had five rebounds after starting for the Bulldogs in Monday's Final Four game.
Perry scored 21 points with 10 rebounds for Pittsfield in the game, an 82-72 win for Old Rochester. Perry scored nine points after the spitting incident, including seven points in a fourth-quarter comeback bid by the Generals.
Wednesday's statement from the South Shore school district said Old Rochester High School would follow its own policies and procedures related to student discipline.
"We have been in contact with Pittsfield Public Schools administration throughout this process," the statement read. "We have reported this matter to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and will continue to collaborate with them throughout this process. 
"The Old Rochester Regional School District and MA Superintendency Union #55 administration express our deepest regrets to the Pittsfield team and school community at large. We place the highest value on sportsmanship and will continue to expect the best from our student-athletes as leaders in our school communities."
An email request for comment from Pittsfield Superintendent Joseph Curtis was not immediately returned.
Old Rochester is scheduled to play on Saturday evening in Lowell against the winner of Wednesday night's state semi-final between Taconic and Charlestown.
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