McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Breaking News

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 | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.