The latest high school football brawl has brought more attention -- and suspensions -- on a new region: the Pacific Northwest.
According to the Seattle Times, a total of eight high school football players from two Seattle-area schools have been suspended following a benches clearing brawl during a Saturday night game. Three players from Seattle (Wash.) Ballard High and five from Seattle (Wash.) Garfield High were ejected after a failed two-point conversion following a touchdown led to a Garfield player throwing a punch at his opponent.
That aggression precipitated a full-on brawl between the two teams with some five minutes remaining in the contest. Unlike a handful of other brawls which have occurred this fall, officials and coaches were able to regain control of the situation and continue playing the game, which concluded in a 26-7 victory for Ballard on the school's homecoming night. The Ballard team is pictured above celebrating after the victory.
All eight players who were ejected will serve a minimum of a one-game suspension, as stipulated by Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations for player ejections.
"It's a sad day in Beaver nation," Ballard football coach Joey Thomas told the Times. "We'd like to show more class and more integrity than that. But we'll use it as a teaching moment.
"Nobody should have left the sideline, but at the same time as a former player I understand it's hard when you see one of your teammates being swung on. This is a contact sport. I am my brother's keeper and everybody's playing for each other."
While Ballard has already taken steps to move on from the incident, the surrounding situation at Garfield makes matters all the more confusing for the school. The team's interim head coach, David Myers, said the program would have no comment on the incident.
It's questionable whether Myers would have the authority to enact further discipline on the players himself, as he is only filling the position on a temporary basis after first-year head coach Kelvin Goliday was suspended indefinitely for pulling his team off the field during the third quarter of its first game of the season following a spat with officials.
Now the program will have to weather the loss of players in addition to Goliday's absence, another trying chapter of a rough season for still-winless Garfield.