Coaches are supposed to be role models for the players they lead. It's safe to say that the men leading the football programs at Arsenal Tech High (Indianapolis, In.) and South Side High (Fort Wayne, In.) fell far short of that on Friday night.
As reported by Indianapolis TV network WANE and a handful of other outlets, a skirmish between the two teams began when an Arsenal Tech receiver was hit as he was dragged out of bounds. Before referees could even throw a penalty flag, the two teams were pushing and shoving, and an Arsenal Tech coach ran off the sideline to keep his players from their opponents.
What happened next was one of the more disturbing events of the early high school season. As the players began to be separated, a South side coach ran across the field to confront his Arsenal Tech counterpart. As soon as they had reached each other pushing and shoving began, and their players came in to get involved as well.
Both sides were involved in the extracurricular shoving, with a South Side player briefly taking out the Arsenal Tech coach involved in the coach-on-coach pushing and others involved pushing in on the South Side coach as well. WANE reported that fans even jumped out of the stands and got involved in the fight.
By the time the fight was over, referees had called the game, with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police called in to help school police calm everyone down and ensure that South Side made it out of the area safely. While no suspensions have followed the fracas yet, they may be in the offing soon, from either the Indianapolis High School Activities Association or the individual school districts.
"We are disappointed with the turn of events at Friday's football game, and we expect all involved in high school athletics - both our teams and those we play - to demonstrate good sportsmanship." Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista Stockman told WANE. "We will conduct our own investigation into what took place as well as cooperate with the IHSAA investigation."