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Fargo South AD says boys hockey 'choking game' incident not hazing

Fargo South/Shanley goalie Benjamin Bryant tries to stop Moorhead's Carter Randklev during a Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 game at the Moorhead Sports Center. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO — Players on the Fargo South-Shanley boys hockey team were videotaped participating in what Fargo South assistant principal and Activities Director Michael Beaton called a social media stunt last week in a hotel room while the team was playing a road game in Rochester, Minn.

Beaton did not label the incident as hazing, but safety concerns with the stunt that involved one player attempting to pass out were addressed to the entire team.

"The whole incident wasn't videotaped, but it appeared to be one of the players trying to pass out by plugging his nose and applying pressure to his chest," Beaton said. "It was a stunt seen on social media. They wanted to try it, and they videotaped it using Snapchat I believe, but I'm not positive."

Beaton's description of the incident aligns with similar stunts known as the "the choking game" and the "pass-out challenge" that have gained notoriety thanks to attempts being posted on social media.

South-Shanley is a co-op program that has players from Fargo South and Fargo Shanley high schools. The team is coached by Wade Storey.

The Bruins were on the road from Dec. 28-30 playing games in Rochester at a holiday tournament. Beaton, who has a son on the team, was in Rochester and attended the tournament.

Beaton did not confirm if any of the players who appeared in the video were disciplined, but said several players collaborated together to perform the stunt.

"The incident was dealt with right away and the players were addressed about the safety concerns involved with imitating things seen on various social media websites," he said. "They aren't always safe, and if they are posted on social media, they don't represent our team and schools in a good way."

Tom Mix

Tom Mix is the North Dakota high school sports reporter. He's worked at The Forum for five years. He was the 2013 North Dakota sportswriter of the year, an award that is sponsored by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to  

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