HACKENSACK, N.J. -- A Hackensack High School rising senior who is deaf and turned 19 on Saturday wants to continue playing sports in the next school year, northjersey.com reported.
But Dante Washington is "ineligible to play football and baseball" due to New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, said northjersey.com.
The association's rule is "intended to prevent more physically developed athletes from gaining a significant advantage," according to the report.
So Washington, along with teammates coaches and family will appeal the decision, basing their argument that his being deaf created a "special circumstance," northjersey.com said.
Because the impairment reportedly affected Washington's "skill development" he repeated grades two and three upon transferring from Paterson to the Bergen County Special Services school district for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, according to northjersey.com.
The rule says an athlete who becomes 19 on or after Sept. 1 can play in the next year, but Washington missed the cutoff, said the report.