AP NEWS

High school wrestler forced to cut dreads returns to action

January 7, 2019
FILE - In this file image taken from a Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018, video provided by SNJTODAY.COM, Buena Regional High School wrestler Andrew Johnson gets his hair cut courtside minutes before his match in Buena, N.J., after a referee told Johnson he would forfeit his bout if he did not have his dreadlocks cut off. Johnson, forced by a referee to cut his dreadlocks before a match to avoid a forfeit, has returned to competition. He wrestled Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, for the first time more than two weeks. (Michael Frankel/SNJTODAY.COM via AP, File)

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey high school wrestler forced by a referee to cut his dreadlocks before a match to avoid a forfeit has returned to competition.

Andrew Johnson wrestled Saturday for the first time more than two weeks. The Buena (BYOO’-nah) Regional student lost by a 6-2 decision to Clayton/Glassboro wrestler Jaden Hinton in a 120-pound bout that opened a tournament.

Johnson had his dreadlocks cut minutes before a match Dec. 19. Johnson, who is black, had a cover over his hair, but referee Alan Maloney, who is white, said that wouldn’t do.

Maloney hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

Johnson, who still wears his hair in short, thin dreadlocks, wrestled Saturday without a hair cover. It wasn’t clear if he had to make any adjustments to stay within the rules.

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