Wrestling Coach Fired for Allegedly Offering Team Beer at Minnesota State Tournament

An assistant wrestling coach at Woodbury High School who's accused of offering beer to team members has been fired.

A search warrant affidavit alleges the 21-year-old coach arrived at the Crown Plaza Hotel in St. Paul on Feb. 29. with a case of beer, accompanied by two high school-aged girls, and offered the alcohol to everyone in the room.

The assistant coach was the only person in the room of legal drinking age. He and the team were at the hotel for the state high school wrestling tournament.

Five wrestlers left the room and notified school officials the next morning.

John Soma, the school's activities director, said the assistant had been in his first year of coaching.

"To our knowledge, students athletes did not consume alcohol," said Randy Zipf, assistant superintendent of the South Washington County school district.

St. Paul and Woodbury police were reviewing surveillance video from the hotel to determine whether the allegations are true. The assistant coach had not been arrested or charged with a crime as of Monday, but providing alcoholic beverages to anyone less than 21 years old is a gross misdemeanor.

"My son, it bothered him a lot that he was put in that situation," said Dennis Lazenberry, vice president of the Woodbury wrestling booster club and father of a wrestler who was staying in the room. "The kids stuck together and did the right thing in an awkward situation."

Lazenberry said the wrestlers considered the incident to be a distraction after they had worked so hard to reach the tournament. He commended the boys for coming forward.

"There are some out there who make the right choices, as difficult as it might be," he said.

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