The players ejected from Friday’s South Charleston and Hurricane high school football playoff game will be forced to sit out one future game.
West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Executive Director Gary Ray says both schools were notified Monday of the players who will be punished after the on field brawl that ended the game in the Capitol City.
"I feel good that we can address this issue and get it behind both schools," Ray said on Monday’s MetroNews Talkline after the notifications were issued.
Ray would not confirm the number of players suspended, but reports indicate the punishment will apply to five Hurricane players and five South Charleston players.
For Hurricane, the players suspended who are not seniors will sit out the first game of the next football season. The seniors will miss their next game in whatever other sport they may be playing.
Right now, the suspensions are a bigger issue for South Charleston. The Black Eagles are scheduled to face Brooke at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Laidley Field in Charleston in the SemiFinal Round of the High School Football Playoffs.
"It’s very a unfortunate situation," said South Charleston Head Football Coach John Messinger who could potentially lose some important players temporarily.
He says they’ll rebound.
"In the event that we would play without some key players, you’re not going to hear myself or our staff or our school complain that we have may have lost a football game because our numbers were depleted in any way."
National rules do not allow the use of replay video in high school football, so Ray says they have relied on the reports from the officials on the field Friday to identify the students involved.
There are indications the parents of some of those students will possibly attempt to have the ruling blocked in court to allow their students to play as the Black Eagles try to make it to the Super Six in Wheeling next month.
Ray says he can only hope that does not happen.
"We’ve got to teach our students that, when you’re involved in something, there’s consequences to your actions," Ray said.
The police can review the video.
Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster was planning to watch the video of the game Monday to try to determine who used pepper spray to break up the brawl that started after an interception towards the end of the game Friday night.
The question is whether the use of pepper spray was appropriate in this instance. "We now have our Professional Standards Division conducting an investigation. We’re going to watch the video and do interviews," he said Monday.
Contrary to earlier reports, Chief Webster says there are no indications that Charleston Police used a taser on any of the players.
There were six police officers from the City of Charleston on hand along with officers from several other agencies.
South Charleston beat Hurricane 30-26.