AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Both Cross Creek and Savannah High School football teams are facing stiff penalties after a bench-clearing fight between players and coaches last Friday.
The Georgia High School Association ruled that both teams have to forfeit their next games due to the severity of the incident.
In a video sent to us by a Cross Creek parent, players and staff from both teams can be seen scrambling onto the field during the fight.
Cross Creek football parents are speaking out about what they think happened.
“The Savannah boy initiated the fight. Now, do I think Cross Creek should be punished? Absolutely – for leaving the bench, that’s where they were wrong,” said Ashkea White. “However, when another coach from a different team assaulted one of our kids, LJ was coming to grab his teammate, that coach decided to grab him by the helmet and throw him down on the ground. That is not acceptable for any cause.”
We’ve reached out to GHSA about these allegations in particular and what they plan to do about them, and are awaiting a response.
In letters sent to Cross Creek and Savannah High’s athletic directors by the GHSA, it states that the schools are each being fined $1,500 and are being placed on severe warning status for one year.
In a statement, the Richmond County School System stated that several student-athletes are facing suspensions, and may face more consequences as the investigation continues.
Parents we spoke to believe this is unfair, because Cross Creek High hasn’t had an infraction in years.
“Yes, they came off the bench so of course if they need to be suspended and forfeit this week’s game, that’s fine,” said Gentry Jones. “But then to do all these other things, like they have to pay fines and then they have to pinpoint players that will be suspended. I don’t think that’s right, I think that’s excessive.”
They said they want more support from the school system.
“Trying to request and demand that the parents get a special called meeting so their voices can be heard, their kids’ voices can be heard,” White said. “Right now, Cross Creek, the only support they have is from the parents and the community that has came together.”
We’ve reached out to Cross Creek’s head coach but haven’t heard back yet.
We’ve also learned that Savannah-Chatham Schools’ superintendent has spoken with the Richmond County Schools’ superintendent about having both teams sit down and having a conversation after all the penalties have been served.
We have not heard whether the Richmond County superintendent has responded to that proposal.
You can read the letters from the GHSA below: