PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. -

The Phillipsburg wrestling team has broken their silence after a controversial photo surfaced earlier this week.

In a news conference held Thursday night, the wrestlers' attorney read a statement on behalf of the eight implicated wrestlers and their parents.

"When we spontaneously set the scene and posed for the photograph our sole purpose was to promote school spirit and portray our wrestling team as victors over two of our arch-rivals, Paulsboro High School and Kittatinny High School, and not for any other purpose," the statement read.

Phillipsburg wrestling photo The statement went on to note that the wrestling dummy seen in the photo, wearing a Paulsboro t-shirt, a Kittatinny singlet and a noose, is a generic wrestling dummy owned by the school.

"It is our understanding that the dummies are manufactured only in dark leather," the statement read.

The wrestlers also expressed, through their attorney, their disappointment with how their school handled this controversy.

According to the wrestlers, school officials promised some form of disciplinary action but guaranteed that they would not be suspended from the individual wrestling championships. The wrestlers have since been rendered such sanctions.

Stay with 69News and wfmz.com for more on this developing story. We will have more information at 10.