Kory Winch, a starting senior guard for the Hampden Academy boys basketball team, has been dismissed from the squad for posting a photo on social media that included an inappropriate hand gesture.
RSU 22 Superintendent Rick Lyons said the decision stemmed from an incident that occurred after the Broncos’ “Seniors Night” victory over Nokomis High of Newport on Thursday night.
A poster hanging in the gym at the school showed Winch’s name, a photo of him and listed him as “captain.” That word was removed from the poster as he was not a team captain.
The “captain” designation was first covered up and then removed from the poster by school officials.
“One thing led to another. [Winch] was dissatisfied and it led to him making an inappropriate [hand gesture],” Lyons said.
A photo of Winch, posing with the sign and making the gesture was posted on social media, and Lyons said it was also caught “on a camera in the high school gym.”
HA basketball head coach Russ Bartlett and athletics director Fred Lower decided to remove Winch from the team, according to Lyons, who supported their decision.
Lyons said Winch’s behavior violated “the standard of expectations and ethics we have for our student-athletes.”
Winch has been an outstanding player for the Broncos, and he was one of two returning starters off last year’s Class A North championship team, which lost to Greely of Cumberland Center 47-46 in the state title game.
Winch was an All-KVAC Class A North selection a year ago when he averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. He was also chosen to the Class A North all-tournament team.
Hampden Academy is 14-4 and earned the No. 2 seed for the Class A North tournament. The Broncos are 48-11 over the past three seasons.
The Broncos face No. 7 Skowhegan (8-10) at 5 p.m. Saturday in the Class A North quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center.