Winnetka, Sports

Group of New Trier lacrosse players reportedly beat teammate and record incident

At least four of the Trevians’ games have been canceled to start season, according to team schedules

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Record has chosen not to publish the video, which depicts the physical assault of a reported juvenile.)

A digital video has surfaced that reportedly shows New Trier High School lacrosse players battering one of their teammates.

The video was sent to The Record by two community members who requested to remain anonymous. The individuals in the video were identified as New Trier lacrosse players by five Record sources, including two classmates of the individuals in the video.

New Trier High School began its spring break on Friday, March 25. Neither the New Trier Athletic Director Augie Fontanetta nor the New Trier Communications Director Niki Dizon returned The Record’s multiple requests for comment as of press time (Monday, March 28). Trevians boys lacrosse head coach Tom Herrala also did not return messages from The Record.

The graphic recording shows at least four male individuals pouring canned liquid on another individual, who is down on all fours with a cardboard beer box covering his head. One individual then strikes the victim near the head and face with the end of a plastic baseball bat before at least three people continually kick the victim as he lay on the ground. 

A participant in the recorded beating can be heard in the video saying, “I knight this man (unintelligible) New Trier lacrosse.” Another individual says “OK, he’s good, he’s good” after the victim sustains numerous kicks to the torso and back. 

It is unclear when the video was recorded; however, the Winnetka Police Department told The Record it investigated a report of an alleged battery/hazing incident that occurred on March 5 in Winnetka.

Deputy Police Chief Brian O’Connell said in an email that the family of the alleged victim declined to pursue charges. O’Connell would not provide further details about the incident and did not confirm if the video in question was associated with it. The Record requested the police report in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act on Monday, March 28, and has yet to receive a response.

The New Trier boys lacrosse Twitter account (@newtrierlacrosse) has been deactivated. Its last tweet was on March 7. The program’s Instagram page, however, is still active and last posted March 19.

The lacrosse team’s season-opening game on March 24 against Grayslake North was canceled, according to the Grayslake North lacrosse schedule. The Trevians also did not travel on a spring-break trip to Ohio, according to multiple local sources. An online schedule for one of New Trier’s Ohio opponents, St. Xavier High School, shows its game with New Trier as canceled. While another Ohio opponent, Olentangy Liberty, removed the planned April 2 matchup with New Trier from its schedule.

Including the games in Ohio, New Trier will have missed its first four games of the season before its next scheduled contest on April 7 at York High School in Elmhurst.

The New Trier Extracurricular Code of Conduct, which the code says applies to students who participate in “voluntary, school-sponsored activities,” prohibits — among other things — alcohol use and possession, assault or battery, and “bullying, intimidation, hazing and harassment” in a variety of forms, whether within or outside the school day.

Consequences vary for breach of the code of conduct but “in most cases” a suspension from the activity results, according to the school document. The team’s varsity roster consists of about 40 student-athletes.

The New Trier boys lacrosse is an elite program in the state of Illinois. The Trevians have 13 state championships since 1995, including a title in 2019, and they faced off with rival Loyola Academy in the sectional championship game in 2021. 

Stay tuned to The Record as this story develops.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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