The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Z_CNHI News Service

September 6, 2013

Fight after high school game has serious consequences

It was warm and muggy, but that didn’t matter, for opening night is always special for Alabama high school football teams. Walker hosted Cullman at Gambrell/Ki-Ro Field in Jasper, Ala. The rivals battled through four quarters before Cullman rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the game to pull out a heart-stopping 13-10 victory. Too bad the story about the game didn’t end there.

What had been a splendidly played season opener turned into something ugly, something that will carry negative ramifications for the rest of the year. Maybe longer than that.

As the exhausted teams began walking off the field, without the traditional postgame handshake, a Cullman assistant coach, Matt Hopper, walked by the Walker sidelines near the 30-yard line, where a TV clip shows Coach John Holladay taking a step or two toward Hopper and launching a punch with his right hand. The men fell to the ground and battled until separated by other coaches and police. Hopper seemed to get the worst of it, showing a bruised and bloody face and a ripped shirt.

It was another moment where sportsmanship was benched in favor of mayhem. But this flare-up was different. It was two coaches, men who should have known better, and not teenage athletes still learning to control their emotions.

What precipitated the fight remains unclear. What is clear is the quick action taken by the Alabama High School Athletic Association and its executive director, Steve Savarese. Both coaches drew season-ending suspensions. Walker, partially because of a football incident last year, has been disqualified from this year’s playoffs. Each school was fined $1,500.

Earlier in the week, Holladay, who led his team to a region championship last year, had been placed on administrative leave and an interim coach was named. He resigned the next day, ending a seven-year career there having won two-thirds of his games.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Comment
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide