DHS Homecoming Game Cut Short Due to Fighting

Patch reports that a fight on the DHS football field Friday night, which halted the game with 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter, resulted in the suspesion of four players, one from Decatur and three from Twiggs County High School.  Additionally, one unidentified adult who ran onto the field during the altercation was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, according to the news site.

DHS football head coach Price Jones told Patch he was “disgusted” by the events of the evening.  The fight marred a blow out victory by Decatur, 48-0.

If you’re wondering where the heck Twiggs County is located, the handy map to your right should help.

52 thoughts on “DHS Homecoming Game Cut Short Due to Fighting”

  1. The Freeranger at my house reports seeing no fight. Believed game was shut down because of “mercy ruling”. Evidently the fight was either not too impressive from the stands or the Freeranger was really somewhere else……the tracking device is not working!

  2. Stupid is as stupid does. This starts with all the crap going on on Sunday in the NFL and Saturday in the NCAA. Sad that it is now trickled down to Friday.

  3. The game was halted twice due to brawls. During the second brawl, a father ran onto the field to beat up the entire Twiggs team. His son was pushed after a play and retaliated by throwing punches which lead to the 2nd brawl. Then dad charged on the field to defend his son, knocking down Twiggs players and throwing punches. I wonder where the son got the impression that throwing punches during a sporting event was appropriate. Education starts at home.

    1. You should get your story straight. The father that ran on the field, ran out there to stop the brawl. Because it seemed as if no one was doing anything. He didn’t hit anyone on the Twiggs team and was stoped in his tracks by a Decatur Police Officer, who also witnessed the whole thing. You are correct when you education starts at home. The football player you are talking about I know personally and is very educated, smart and respectful young man. Football is a contact sport and is very physical and fighting is unexceptable and unsportsman like, but when you are being provoked, what are you to do? What parent can sit around and watch there kid get pushed around when no one is doing anything about it. This father was charged with disorderly conduct, don’t you think that if he threw punches at high school football player the charges would have been more serious, so when you go spreading rumors PLEASE get your story straight, because its obvious that you didn’t see what went on and don’t know what you are talking about.

      1. “Football is a contact sport and is very physical and fighting is unexceptable and unsportsman like, but when you are being provoked, what are you to do?”

        Walk away. Just because you are being provoked doesn’t mean you have to sink to their lows. Be a real man and walk away.

        Parents have no place running out on the field — no matter what age their child is. There are coaches and referees there to handle the situation. A parent should never come charging on to the field. It shows a lack of self control and a lack of class.

      2. You missed the point. Spectators running on the field are totally out of line. This lack of control and judgement was obviously taught to his child as being appropriate, as this kid starting throwing punches because he was pushed after the whistle. I was at the game and the parent bowled over several Twiggs players. Did you think he was going on the field to calmly discuss the situation with the opposing team? Perhaps he was going to asked Twiggs if they would stop picking on this boy. Right.

        1. No Grand Poohba, to each its own. You point wasn’t missed. Everyone has their own opinion. You can call it lack of control or insinuate what ever you want. But, you placing judgement on his parents by saying that this was taught at home is just plain ignorant. Yes I can say that it was wrong for his father to go on the field, but it has already happened. Just make sure before you go spreading rumors or lies, have your story correct and PLEASE state facts not fiction. I guess you are the type of man that will just stand there and let someone push your kid around or get pushed around and do nothing or say nothing when no one else was doing or saying anything. Right.

          1. Alice, you stated, “I guess you are the type of man that will just stand there and let someone push your kid around or get pushed around and do nothing or say nothing when no one else was doing or saying anything.”

            My son was on that field vs Twiggs. He dealt with cheap shots & verbal abuse all night long. He knows that retaliation would be worse than walking away. And I had no urge to charge the field.

            What we have learned? – 1. Retaliation resulted in ejection from future games. 2. Retaliation ended up in an arrest. 3. Retaliation resulted in ending the Homecoming Game 9 mins early.

        2. This Decatur player is usually the one to try and stop fights from happening, this was totally out of character for him. Maybe he got feed up with the Twiggs player pushing him.

          1. I was at the game as well, Haley. Talk about the players from Twiggs, tell me “What part did/do the officials play in maintaining control of the game and the players. There was lots of trash talking, overly rough play and lots of contact after the whistles. If the officials had been doing their jobs may, just maybe, none of the events would have taken place. NO CONTROL BY THE OFFICIALS IS THE MAIN REASON FOR “ALL THE BAD BLOOD”!

  4. I would love to see football removed from our schools. The funds saved could be used to create fitness programs that benefit ALL students, attacking the rampant obesity we see in our young people. In addition, we wouldn’t be reading weekly reports of serious or deadly injuries to young men who may not have been adequately screened or protected as they sign up for this violent and dangerous activity.

    1. That is not likely to happen, but we can hope. I went to high school at an elite NE Prep School and graduated from Emory. Neither had football and as a result I have no interest in spending any time watching NFL brutal stupidity.

    2. My guess is that the chance of football going away soon in the South is infinitesimal. I went to public high school but in an area where football was just one of the many sports, not king. Had no idea that I’d eventually be attending homecoming parades and opening day games, becoming a season’s pass Bulldog Booster club member, etc.

      I do think that it would be nice if there were more options for students in middle and high school who enjoy sports but are not necessarily JV or Varsity level athletes. Luckily, Decatur Rec and the DD YMCA have some options but not enough at the older age groups. We want to encourage life long physical activity and for some boys, even bigger boys, team sports is still what gets them moving.

      1. Agreed. Although I have no interest in football, I love the experience of attending Decatur High football games; with my children when they attended DHS (oldest still does) and when they were little kids and went to games just to be with friends. But for me that is for the experience of community and not out of any interest in the game itself!
        Soccer, Lacrosse, etc are much better sports because all kids can participate.

      2. I think your guess is wrong. The chance of football going away in the South is zero, and thank god for it.

        1. Isn’t that what I said? I thought infinitesimal meant a decimal so small that it approximated zero. Or is even that much uncertaintly ludicrous?

      3. The sounds of Georgia Bulldogs football– the band practicing, the stadium roar, fraternity/sorority row’s all weekend partying– provided the soundtrack of my growing up years. As a townie theatre kid, I thought I hated it. Turns out, when I moved away from Athens, I couldn’t do without the magical voice of Larry Munson calling the games! What I thought I was gladly leaving behind actually became a nice way to bring back warm feelings of “home.” Even now, there’s something comforting about a football game playing in the background.

        1. To relate to your point about high school football: Back in my high school days, football ruled the school– and sports. (Basketball and baseball drew little attention.) We also had very definite cliques, complete with parking lot territory and lunch room turf. As a drama geek, going to games was out of the question…. but I always secretly held a great admiration for our football coach, the legendary Billy Henderson of the Clarke Central Gladiators. Even a drama geek could recognize that Coach Henderson put his heart and soul into the program, and it wasn’t just for wins on the scoreboard.

    3. Agreed… I never attended a school that had a football team from middle school through graduate school. Maybe I’m ignorant, but I have never seen the attraction of watching people pile on top of each other. I don’t mind football being a sport offered, but the amount of money spent on it should be equal to the money spent on other sports and any excess should go to more inclusive athletic activities.

      I have never understood why it’s OK to “track” kids heavily when it comes to athletics but to be so adamantly opposed to it when it comes to academics. It’s important to encourage all kids to do their best in school, but isn’t it equally important to encourage all kids to live healthy lifestyles, even if they aren’t “varsity” level? The vast majority of kids are not varsity level athletes, and they have very few opportunities to get any sort of real exercise.. .much less to learn an athletic skill at all.

      1. Good point about tracking being ok for sports and not for academics. Of course it’s understandable why tracking occurs–the school wants to win! But I wish there was a way to accomodate all students interested in team sports even if they aren’t super athletes. A lot of it is probably money. Some freshman and middle school teams have been cut recently. Decatur Rec tries to fill the gap but it’s intramural programs peter out as the kids get older.

  5. I have no direct knowledge but suspect that DHS football generates enough revenues to cover its costs and costs for other sports (similar to how it works for major universities). There were lots of spectators on Friday night at $7 a pop.

    1. The big $ in NCAA athletics does not come frpm ticket sales, it’s generated by licensed memorabilia and tv contracts. That said, I imagine football generates more revenue than other DHS sports, but would be surprise if it pays for itself.

      1. Actually, ticket sales drive a huge percentage of revenues for the BCS conference schools. When you consider the fact that donations/contributions are required in order to buy season tickets at many schools, the combined revenue is half or more of the total.

        And college football pays for all of the other sports and scholarships. People may hate the game of football, but it’s the reason that a lot of kids can get scholarships to play golf or tennis or rowing.


        1. Oh, puh-leeeze! People around here don’t wan’t to talk sense or reason about the issue. Football bad! Only ignorant lower class folk like it and play it. The good people of Decatur should content themselves with lacrosse and croquet and other gentlemanly pursuits!

          I grew up in the northeast but my parents didn’t have the money for an elite prep school. And even though I had the grades and test scores for the Ivy Leagues, the full scholarship to Big Bad State U made a lot more sense than being saddled with college debt for 30 years. Silly me, I thought the plebian game taught me a whole lot about discipline and teamwork. Guess I was wrong. Perhaps that explains a lot about me 😉

          1. The Ivy Leage schools play football, along with Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Rice, Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin, MIT, and many more. Many of the elite private prep schools in the northeast also have football teams. Seems there may be some graudates of Phillips Exeter and Yale who actually like the brutal stupidity of a game with a history of over 100 years in this country.

            1. I am more concerned about the Roman gladiator aspect of professional football and the fact that many college players do not actually graduate and those that turn professional often die young of diabetes or suffer from brain injury.

              1. Well I agree with you about the sad and utterly dishonest state of major college sports — most of those kids are not really students and they are being used by their schools. We should get it over with, pay those players, and admit they’re minor-league professionals. As for the injuries, I am going to guess we’ll disagree on this, but the players know the risks they’re taking and at the professional level are being very well compensated for it.

        2. “In 2010, despite the faltering economy, a single college athletic league, the football-crazed Southeastern Conference (SEC), became the first to crack the billion-dollar barrier in athletic receipts. The Big Ten pursued closely at $905 million. That money comes from a combination of ticket sales, concession sales, merchandise, licensing fees, and other sources—but the great bulk of it comes from television contracts.” — http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/8643/

          I don’t hate the game of football, and I’m not saying other sports don’t benefit from the revenue it generates at the college level. I’m genuinely curious whether football at Decatur High also turns a profit. If so, then good.

          If I had a son with the interest and ability to play varsity football, I’d be torn about letting him do it, weighing the benefits of the experience against the small but often deadly physical risk. (Who wants their kid to die like the player in NY last week?) Recently, I learned there is a flag football program for little kids in Decatur, which I think is great.

          1. Big ups to STG for beating me and posting that Atlantic piece. It’s the best sports journalism I’ve read in a long time, and should be required reading for high school coaches, fans of big-time college football or basketball, among others.

          2. @ stg …

            “small but often deadly physical risk” – isn’t this an oxymoron?

            Not a significant percentage of deaths in football.

            1. Not sure what you’re getting at re. it being an oxymoron, unless you’re just picking grammar nits. What I meant to say is that the risks of serious, i.e., disabling, injury and death are statistically low, but every now and then a player dies. Guess it’s not “significant” unless it happens to be your kid. As I said, if I had a son who wanted to play ball and had the ability, I would be haunted by the knowledge that he could wind up like Ridge Barden, the young man in New York who died on the field last week. So far as has been determined, it was simply an accident of play, but unspeakably tragic nonetheless.

              Above comments refer to HS ball. College is another matter entirely, and if you haven’t read the article in The Atlantic, I encourage you to read it. It really sheds some additional–and not altogether welcome, if you’re a fan–light on the whole business of NCAA athletics.

              1. Not trying to be picky; just struck by ‘small’ followed by ‘often.’ Your extended response clarifies your position.

                I get that there’s danger in contact sports. That’s not isolated to American football. There’s also injury danger and even cardiac events from unknown heart problems in individual athletics or exercise. My husband died riding his road bike – keeled over; gone. But to me it’s like people who won’t fly because the plane may crash but yet they ride in cars everyday where we know the risk of injury or death is much higher.

                And yes, when it happens to you or a person you love, then out the window go the statistics. Please make a personal choice for you and any minors under your direction but I ask that everyone hesitate before crying out for the demise of American football.

                1. Great post, though I’m sorry to hear that about your husband. For every cyclist or runner who suffers that sort of unexpected death, think of all the people who suffer very expected heart attacks, stokes, etc. that might have been prevented with exercise. Point being, nothing — not even sitting on your couch watching TV — is without risk.

                  The dangers in football are more acute, I think, in college, where the players and bigger, stronger, and faster. In most high school leagues, you have 22 kids out there with relatively limited ability and, while anything can happen, they’re unlikley to hurt themselves seriously.

                  1. Thank you DEM. And good description of most high school programs, especially in the smaller school divisions. Sad state when emotions run so high that the adults lose control too but that’s not just escalating these days in sports.

                    There’s many a song but “Live Life Like You’re Dying” pretty much sums it up. Enjoy it while you’re here, do things for others, leave behind good memories.

                    “Death is the other bookend and without it, the middle can’t stand tall. Some people get more books.” by Me.

                    My husband loved his high school football years and all the relationships and memories that came from them.

                2. I haven’t seen anyone here “crying out for the demise of American football.” And I want to be very clear about not getting lumped together with those who would de-emphasize it or even eliminated it at DHS in favor of other sports. I don’t agree with them, but I also think some of the all-or-nothing responses to those comments sound slightly hysterical as well. Football has always been a rough game. A hundred years ago, the controversy centered around the fact that so many college players died on the field each year. Over time, rules changed and safety gear evolved. There’s no reason to stop looking at it very hard and trying to make it safer. Nowadays, there are legitimate concerns about (1) the physical risks, which are obviously greater in college and in the pros but nevertheless exist for high school players, too, and (2) the element of what could be fairly called thuggery that has increased in the NFL in recent years, which winds up modeling behavior for young players who are not getting strong enough counter-modeling at home.

                  Personally, I have a sentimental attachment to football–who could grow up in the rural deep South and not have?–and do not advocate getting rid of it. But IMO there are legitimate criticisms on many fronts about how the game is played these days. Many of them are not restricted to football, and not specifically American. (Anybody remember the UK soccer riots of a few decades ago? the only time I ever feared for my own safety in a public place was at a game in suburban London in 1977, and it was nothing close to a riot, just the usual near-stampede when the home team scored a goal.)

                  BTW, the high school player who died in New York last week did not fall victim to any pre-existing heart condition or other ailment. He got hit on the head the wrong way and seemed OK at first, but died on the field a few minutes later. I don’t know how anybody who loves football could hear that and not think very hard about what they would do if their own child wanted to play. I have to think I’d do everything in my power to steer him toward lacrosse instead–and pray he never discovered rugby. (The guys I knew in college who played lacrosse were every bit as tough as the football players. Maybe because most of them also played ice hockey, which is another story for another day!)

                  1. +1

                    Separate but related story to share.

                    August 15, 2011 – friend’s son “got a concussion at football Monday and Tuesday had 7 siezures … life-flighted to Children’s Healthcare … did an MRI and found he had a AVM which is a large mass of veins and arteries. People have them all the time and they are never detected – except when it is too late! So, the seizures were God’s blessing because now they can “fix” him.”

                    Her son had successful brain surgery, has recovered, and today he returns to high school.

                    1. Wow. It almost sounds silly to say, but I’m not sure brain surgeons can ever be paid enough for what they do.

          3. Stg, did you read my link? Pick a year, pick a school – a lot of the money comes from ticket sales. For instance, Alabama in 2010 made about $60 million from ticket sales and contributions, and about $21 million from shared conference revenues, which include TV and Bowl game payouts.

            My son plays in the Decatur youth flag football program. It is really cool, a grassroots effort by a few dads who noticed that their kids were not getting exposed to the game. They play their last games this Sunday afternoon between 1 and 5 pm at the Boys and Girls club field on East Lake. The Falcons have a bye week, come on out and see some REAL football this weekend!

            1. In honesty, I did not read your link earlier today, just leaped in with my own. Took a look just now, but am not invested enough to go poking around in a database. (The link didn’t bring up an article, just access to data provided by the NCAA in response to an information request–if I’m reading accurately at this late hour.) Did you look at the article I linked? I don’t mean to get into a quibble about ticket revenues, it probably varies widely enough to make sweeping statements irrelevant. The point I meant to be making, in my haste, was that I’d bet ticket revenues don’t amount to that much at DHS, relative to what it costs to maintain the football program. If it is pulling in money that supports other sports, that’s great.

              1. Yeah, I didn’t mean to quibble, just wanted to shed light on a common misunderstanding around college football – even a lot of hardcore college football fans think it’s all about the TV money, when the reality of the numbers tells a different story.

                I read that Atlantic piece when it came out. I think it’s a bit sensational, honestly. I’ll admit – something about the new print format the Atlantic switched to just changed my perception of the quality of that magazine. I need to get over it, but as is I’m skeptical of a lot of what they put out nowadays.

                1. I know what you mean about the new format. As a subscriber for 25+ years, I wasn’t wild about it at first. But now I like it better, in most ways. The fact that Taylor Branch wrote the article in question is what led me to read it — my interest in sports is not all that deep, and I already thought the NCAA is screwed up. I think he is a careful historian, so am pretty much inclined to take his word for things.

      1. It will never catch on here. Chewing tobacco and grabbing your crotch just doesn’t go with those white, woolen, pull-over sweaters.

  6. I tend to get a little uncomfortable when people talk about axing an activity in the wake of something emotional like this. Note that some people say the same about art in schools or certain books being in public libraries when something controversial is presented in those areas.

  7. I went back and counted and only two posters advocated for axing football and only one of them directly. I think that shows how attached folks can be to football–panic when two comments are negative about it! And maybe that emotion explains the fights too. Otherwise I cannot reconcile the people I know in real life with the behavior in the stands and field!

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