High school football is a big deal in Texas. It's such a big deal in fact that a book, a movie and, eventually, a TV series were made about it. And that TV series is about to be yet another movie on the subject. Friday nights in the Lone Star State are all about high school football, for real.
And, yes, it gets heated and testy and all of the adjectives you might think to apply to insular communities divided by their love of the only team in town, populated by their sons (and on extremely rare occasions, daughters). Even so, the infighting is mostly political and social, not physical. Apparently, in Alabama, they do things a little differently.
After a recent game between Cullman and Walker high schools, Cullman assistant coach (yes, ASSISTANT) Matt Hopper exchanged a bit of trash talk with Walker head coach John Holladay. After just a few seconds, Holladay, who had clearly had enough lip, took a BIG swing at Hopper. Soon, the melée was on.
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It took police on the scene to separate the two. Hopper got the worst of it and had to be restrained further by police when he again lunged at Holladay. The irony is that as bad as Hopper was beaten after the game, it was his team that did the beating during the game. They won 13-10 on a touchdown run with 18 seconds left in the game.
According to a report, Walker got cost a possession when officials made a mistake in a game that saw both squads flagged for 20 total penalties.
Hopper was not disciplined by his school or district. "I understand there is no need to reprimand our coaches and players, that they acted with class and dignity during the situation," said school board president Suzanne Harbin, who clearly was not at the game and hadn't seen the video because, um, WHAT?
Holladay was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The Alabama High School Athletic Association is also investigating. Perhaps they, too, will find the whole thing classy and dignified.