Pinecrest, Union Pines likely barred from state playoffs
By Nick Stevens(HighSchoolOT.com)
Officials determined on Sunday that three players from Pinecrest High School’s football team and three players from Union Pines High School’s football team were ejected for fighting during a bench-clearing brawl on Friday night.
Kellum Fipps, the booking agent for the Southeastern Football Officials Association, told HighSchoolOT.com on Sunday that no other players or coaches were ejected for any other reason.
“There were a lot of people on the field, but the focus of the meeting today was to identify the players that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, were really fighting,” Fipps said.
According to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Handbook, any team who totals three ejections during the season for fighting will be barred from the state playoffs.
Que Tucker, deputy director of the NCHSAA, was not ready to make a statement about playoff implications Sunday.
“I will need to hear from both parties as well as review the report from the officials before making that decision,” Tucker said via e-mail Sunday night.
In addition, any player who is ejected for fighting is subject to a two-game suspension, and both schools are subject to a $1,000 fine from the NCHSAA. A player ejected for any other reason is subject to a one-game suspension.
Tucker said the NCHSAA will attempt to sort out the situation Monday or Tuesday.
During a punt play with 4:29 left in the second quarter, while the ball was in the air, something happened along the line of scrimmage that sparked what Fipps classified as a “bench-clearing brawl.”
“Both teams, including the coaching staffs and substitutes, left the bench and came onto the field,” Fipps said. “According to the definition, anyone who leaves the bench during a fight is subject to being ejected, but it was nearly impossible in this instance to determine who all was on the field.”
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