A West Virginia high school all-star football game turned from a friendly competition into a brawl, ending the competition with 9:14 before the end of the contest. The video, captured by a local newspaper, is available by clicking here.
What should be upsetting to the contest’s organizers is that this is the second straight year that the football exhibition has been marred by incidents. This year’s brawl, however, caused the organizers to call players back to their respective locker rooms before canceling the competition.
While the local newspaper is blaming on-field disciplining by the football game’s coaching staff as well as a potential misunderstanding for starting the brawl, a Facebook user captured this video that contradicts the report. It appears from the user’s video that a sideline staff member donning a green shirt threw the first punch in this brawl. Under the video, the user calls for the man to be prosecuted for his actions to instigate the brawl.
The exhibition, called the East-West All-Star Game Classic, seems to have taken a page out of the Hatfield-McCoy story book. Ironically, the football game was played from 1965 until 2013 under the name of the Hatfield-McCoy Bowl, featuring teams composed of Kentucky and West Virginian seniors after graduating from their respective area schools. Those contests were also plagued with brawls, with at least one of those games being stopped for on-field violence in this football game’s turbulent past.
Sadly, that wasn’t the only football exhibition on Saturday that took a turn for the worse and ended due to a brawl. The Rhode Island Football Coaches Association East-West Senior Game was stopped with 4:58 remaining due to player altercations. Video of that incident can be seen by clicking here. Steve Stoehr, a former president of the RIFCA, was upset about the brawl and black eye the league obtained from it.
“I’m not very happy about it because it doesn’t look good for the Rhode Island Coaches Association. I am very disappointed something like that takes place. I think the coaches should be able to control that.”
While police can be seen in attendance at the West Virginia football game, the brawl that erupted in Rhode Island did not have any authorities there to control the situation. Cranston, Rhode Island, Police Captain Gerard Carnevale expressed his frustrations, as have others, about the brawl and potentially worse outcome.
“I have concerns about the fact that we weren’t told there was going to be a football game there, and that we weren’t told there was a fight there. We’re going to look into it. I’m going to look into why we weren’t told about it.”
One problem organizers of theses types of football exhibitions have is many players are getting their final chance to suit up. While it should serve as a celebration for their past achievements, it often provides the players with a punishment-free opportunity to play a game filled with no repercussions — except legal issues, although none have been discussed in either instance. That’s why a brawl erupting mid-play has frequented this sort of contest.
[Image by Paul Adkins/Logan Banner]