INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Arsenal Tech High School’s head football coach calls what happened on his field Friday night a coach’s nightmare.
“We’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he said Saturday, a day after the third-quarter game-ending brawl between players, coaches, and even some in the stands.
Coach Emil Ekiyor said it started when one of his players was tackled out of bounds, which started a fight between players.
"So we as coaches ran over to break up the pushing and shoving," said Ekiyor.
But then he said he saw the other team – Fort Wayne South Side – making a beeline for his team’s bench.
“And then I looked back and saw people coming from the stands into the sidelines,” he said. “And that really got scary.”
Two assistant coaches exchanged punches. Ekiyor said the one from Tech went to the hospital, got stitches over his eye, and wants the assistant from the other team criminally charged.
Chris Kaufman, assistant commissioner for the Indiana High School Athletic Association said Saturday the IHSAA will investigate the incident and called the behavior “awful.” He said officials will speak with both schools next week before deciding on possible sanctions.
Ekiyor is already taking action of his own. He said he’s suspending the assistant involved in the fight from his team for the rest of the season.
“He retaliated,” said Ekiyor. “I really feel bad for him because he’s a hard worker, wonderful person, and a great addition to our program. But the fact that a punch was thrown is just something that we can’t have and we just can’t condone.”
He said he plans to use what happened as an important life lesson.
“We can't let things like that happen because you spend years building a reputation and in three minutes it's all gone,” he said. “I just hope people don’t judge our kids. We’ve worked so hard on character and leadership and handling yourself in adverse situations so I feel so bad for our kids and our coaches because this doesn’t reflect what we do here or who we are as a team.”
Officials with the Fort Wayne Community Schools say they plan an investigation into Friday night’s brawl.
In a statement, the district’s spokesperson said “we are disappointed with the turn of events at Friday’s football game and we expect all involved to demonstrate good sportsmanship.”
The corporation said it will cooperate with the IHSAA investigation.
An 83-year-old woman was killed in a house fire in Owen County Tuesday night.
A multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 65 shut down lanes Wednesday morning.
The Boone County Sheriff's Office asked that drivers use caution Wednesday morning as black ice was reported on some bridges in the county.