The first full-squad brawl of the 2013 football season unfolded on Friday, and it was even uglier than one might imagine it could have been.
At the conclusion of a face off between Cullman (Al.) High and Jasper (Al.) Walker High, Walker head coach John Holladay walked over to Cullman defensive coordinator Matt Hopper. With Cullman eking out a 13-10 victory, tensions were high on both sides and Hopper tried to get a word in which clearly didn't please Holladay.
We know that it whatever Hopper said didn't please Holladay because the Walker head coach immediately took a swing at his coaching counterpart. Then the two coaches became embroiled in a nasty wrestling match, falling to the ground and fighting violently with one another. You can see cell phone video of the squabble above and the fight as it was captured as the game was televised below.
A photo at Online Sports Guys shows Hopper with nasty facial injuries after the two coaches were finally separated by members of both teams. The incident could also reportedly lead to charges filed against one or both of the coaches.
For it's part, the Jasper School District hardly waited to bring official discipline against the Walker head coach.
"Coach Holladay is under administrative leave and has no involvement with the team," Jasper City Schools AD Jimmie Alexander told The Jasper Daily Mountain Eagle, which was on site at the game. "You hate to see any situation that causes a blight on the program. There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at. We will continue to investigate and go from there. I can tell you we will have a thorough investigation.
"[Jasper Police Chief] Connie Rowe has been cooperative and is following up on her end."
Clearly, the fight brought precisely the kind of attention that both programs would hope to avoid at the start of a long season. It remains to be seen how either will respond, with particular attention on Walker's pursuit of the playoffs without their head coach at the helm.