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Keeling Pilaro Starts Field Hockey Season

Family fought for boy to be allowed to play for a third season on traditionally female team.

A Southampton High School freshman boy whose family won an appeal to allow him to play on the varsity field hockey team for another season had his first game of the season on Sept. 10, Newsday reports.

Keeling Pilaro, 14, played with the Southampton girls for two seasons, but Section XI, the governing body for school athletics in Suffolk County, initially determined that he would not be able to participate in field hockey for a third year, saying it would have an "adverse impact" on the game.

Keeling learned the game while living in Ireland, where both boys and girls traditionally play and it is part of the school curriculam, his mother, Fairley Pilaro, previously told Patch.

Pilaro said that her son is just 4 feet and 9 inches tall and weighs 82 pounds, and poses no danger to and has no unfair advanatage over female players. She said that after he has a growth spurt, she will not fight for him to continue playing on the school team. But in the meantime, she wants to see her son be able to play the game he loves.

Keeling aspires to one day play on the U.S. men’s national field hockey team and qualify for the Olympics.

The Mariners had a 5-0 victory at Walt Whitman Monday, though Pilaro did not score, Newsday reported.

"It's a great feeling, a big relief, to be playing again and have things back to normal," Pilaro told Newsday.

Read the article at Newsday.com. (Subscription may be required)

Stinker September 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Smartest young man in the high school....
Jerry Can September 18, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Yep. Looks like he figured out early that there are no girls on the football team.
Emily O'Connor November 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Throughout the history of sports athletics some sports have been divided based on the gender, but this tradition has been affected within the Long Island region. As stated on September 18, 2012 in a Newsday article known as "Keeling Pilaro Starts Field Hockey Season" a young boy wants to continue his involvement in the sport of field hockey which he has been playing all his life in his native land of Ireland. Keeling is now a freshman at Southampton High School. I agree with Keeling and his family that no one should tell you that you can't pursue your dreams even if your in a different country. Keeling just wants to play the sport that he loves so much that he continues to be the best he could be no matter his gender. Keeling plays now on the Southampton team. His family fought for their boy to be allowed to play not only for one season but three on a traditional female team. Keeling is inspired and determined to once play on the U.S National team and to qualify for the olympics. His story nearly touched many peoples hearts. Keeling Pilaro was just a boy trying to convey the message and his story to never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about. His passion, big heart and help from many other supporters had allowed him to continue his love and drive for this sport.

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