One of four top seeds in the Class 1A state football playoffs will be without a sizeable chunk of its roster, as well as its head coach, for the quarterfinals this week because of a brawl during its previous postseason game.Coalfield (Tenn.)
will meet South Pittsburgh on Friday in a rematch of a 2010 semifinal, but will do so without the services of eight players, a ball boy and head coach Keith Henry, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel
In a 57-23 second-round victory against Lookout Valley on Nov. 11, several players from both schools were involved in an on-field fight during the second quarter and were ejected.
Tennessee Class 1A state football brackets
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association rules mandate that any player who is ejected from a game must automatically sit out the team's next contest, and the association went a step further with its discipline.
The TSAAA earlier reviewed a tape of the incident and notified Coalfield that at least seven players were subject to disciplinary action. On Wednesday, in a letter, TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress notified the school of the governing body's decision.
The eight players received suspensions of various degrees. The newspaper reported five players will be sidelined for at least four games, while two others who are seniors will miss the upcoming game, as well as five games in any sport they participate in the rest of the school year. The eighth player was benched for two games.
As for coach Henry, he was penalized "for failing to maintain control of the sidelines during the game," Childress said in the letter.
"We want to commend the administration at Coalfield High School on the manner in which this situation has been handled and jointly coming to a solution," Childress continued. "Because of the actions taken and agreed upon, we find no need to take further action."
Coalfield (10-1) is on a 10-game win streak since losing its season opener. According to the Yellowjackets roster posted on MaxPreps, they will be down to only 25 players with the eight suspensions.
Neither Coalfield athletic director Shawn Basler nor a representative from the TSSAA immediately returned a call from MaxPreps seeking comment.