D.H. Conley, South Central will be allowed to continue season after fight
D.H. Conley and South Central will be allowed to continue their seasons after a fight occurred after last Thursday’s game between the two teams.
According to Pitt County Schools, fines have been issued to both schools by the N.C. High School Athletic Association. In addition, some players have been suspended and several students been banned from attending further games this season. In addition, both head football coaches will also take the National Federation of State High School Associations Teaching and Modeling Behavior course prior to their next game.
“It’s disappointing to have such a a great game marred by the interactions between fans, players and coaches. We have been investigating internally at each school and cooperating with NCHSAA officials to determine the course of action and any discipline that may be handed down,” Ron Butler, the Coordinator of Athletics and Community Schools for Pitt County Schools said. “We have received the sanctions and are ready to address them and move forward.”
The school district said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker was involved in the discussions, along with the district superintendent, and the athletic directors and head football coaches from both schools.
The investigation included review of video. Pitt County Schools says it also cooperated with the NCHSAA’s independent investigation.
D.H. Conley and South Central were involved in a postgame brawl on Thursday night. The altercation, which occurred after the game had officially ended, involved players and fans from both schools.
According to the Greenville Daily Reflector, the brawl began after South Central rushed the field at D.H. Conley to celebrate the Falcons’ 28-27 win, which clinched the conference championship for the undefeated South Central football team.
Video of the altercation shot by WITN showed a D.H. Conley player punching what appeared to be a South Central fan. Coaches were also shown verbally confronting each other as D.H. Conley football coach Nate Conner was recorded yelling at several South Central coaches about a South Central flag being planted on the D.H. Conley field.
“We have reviewed the penalties and have accepted them with no plans of appealing,” said D.H. Conley athletic director Rob Maloney. “We also plan to use this experience as a teachable moment for all of our student athletes, coaches and fans. In addition, we wish South Central the best of luck in the playoffs.”
South Central is undefeated and projected to receive the No. 1 seed in the 4A state playoffs by HighSchoolOT.com.
“We accept the decisions and are looking to move forward. After finishing an undefeated season, South Central football doesn’t want this to interrupt the rest of the season and playoffs,” said South Central athletic director Chris Cherry.
Butler said the school district is reviewing its policies to prevent events like this from happening in the future.
“Regarding the future of athletics, we are working toward making sure the only people that come onto our fields are those who are associated with each team,” Butler said.
In the last week, six teams have been disqualified from the state playoffs because of fighting. On Monday, Wilson County Schools announced Hunt High School and Fike High School would forfeit the rest of their seasons, including the right to play in the state playoffs, after a fight occurred between the two rivals last week. In the Charlotte area, East Mecklenburg, Hickory Ridge, Independence and Rocky River were all disqualified from the state playoffs by the N.C. High School Athletic Association after being involved in fights.
NCHSAA rules state that football teams who have three or more players ejected for fighting over the course of the season are ineligible to compete in the state playoffs. The NCHSAA can eject players for incidents that occur before or after games and has the right to review video to issue rulings retroactively.
More to come...