A high school student, who is a wrestler at a Woodstock school, has been reinstated after he and his coach were suspended by the IHSA and the two filed a lawsuit against the association.
Jimmy Mastny, 16, is a freshman at Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.
According to his mother, Renee Mastny, her son is also a wrestler who began at eight years old and has a “deep love and passion for the sport.”
The boy was home-schooled prior to attending the high school this year.
“Home schooling was a choice that our family made not for athletics but rather for the best interest of our child. Jimmy was struggling in junior high and home schooling gave him the additional structure that he was not able to receive in a traditional classroom setting,” Renee Mastny said.
“After a lot of consideration, our family made the decision to send Jimmy to Marian Central High School this year rather than home school. It was a difficult decision but we wanted our son to receive a structured Catholic school education and we felt this was in his best interest,” his mother said.
Jimmy Mastny “flourished” from the moment the school year started and he made friends with other students and connections with his teachers, his mother said.
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) recently opened an investigation into the Marian Central Wrestling program.
They investigated the co-head wrestling coach, Jordan Blanton, and several wrestlers, including Jimmy Mastny.
Jimmy Mastny is from Oregon, Illinois, and moved in with his coach’s parents in McHenry County to attend the school, according to court documents.
The boy’s parents appointed Blanton’s mother to be the guardian over him.
The IHSA ruled the boy was permanently ineligible for wrestling his entire high school career at the school, according to a letter.
The organization also suspended Blanton from coaching for one calendar year and placed the school on probation for a year, the letter said.
Jimmy Mastny and Blanton both appealed their IHSA bylaw violations and the IHSA board denied the appeal on December 15.
Renee Mastny filed a lawsuit in McHenry County Circuit Court on behalf of her son and Blanton was also listed as a plaintiff in the suit.
The suit said the family’s decision to enroll their son at the school for his behavioral and academic benefit has been an overwhelming success and he has grown into a straight-A student and received school awards.
“Now, the IHSA wants to weaponize JAMES’ academic and behavioral success, penalize him for choosing to pursue a choice of private school that was likely to maximize – and did maximize – his chances of academic and behavioral success, and force him to chose between the sport he loves and the educational community that has fostered this overwhelming growth,” the suit said.
The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction for the court to take action.
McHenry County Judge David Gervais issued a temporary restraining order last week in the case.
The judge ordered IHSA to stop enforcement of any sanctions, suspension and ruling of ineligibility for Mastny and Blanton until January 5.
A court hearing is scheduled for January 5 to determine whether the order will be extended, court records show.
Huntley-based law firm Brody Brandner, who filed the suit, said in a statement that Mastny is an “amazing young man with a bright future.”
“Coach Blanton is an amazing role model for these young men. This was the only fair and just ruling. Congratulations Jimmy, Jordan, Renee Mastny, and the entire Marian Central Catholic Athletics and Marian Central Catholic High School family! We are honored to be a part of your journey,” the firm said.