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.
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