The LHSAA is expected to make a ruling no later than Monday regarding the altercation that occurred in Thursday’s football game between Edna Karr and Lake Area.
Keith Alexander, the LHSAA’s assistant executive director, said on Friday that he has received a preliminary report and was awaiting a final report from the referee of the game played at Behrman Stadium.
The fight between players occurred on the Lake Area sideline with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter. Karr was leading the District 9-4A contest 47-7.
Karr officials said Lake Area defensive end Carnell McDaniels, who was ejected from the game moments earlier in the quarter, instigated the physical altercation after Karr quarterback Aldon Clark rushed down the Lake Area sideline out of bounds.
A fight ensued and officials ended the game at that point.
All players involved in the fight and all players who left the bench area will have to sit out the next game, said Alexander.
“It could go from that all the way to a sportsmanship hearing,” Alexander said Friday afternoon. “But that would depend on the reports we get and the cooperation we get from each school as far and information from them.”
The LHSAA had not obtained any video of the incident as of Friday evening.
Lake Area’s next scheduled game is against Riverdale on Oct. 16, while Karr plays a pivotal district game against Carver on Oct. 17.
Karr coach Brice Brown and Principal Harold Clay Jr. called the entire brawl an act of injustice.
“(McDaniels) should not have been in the box, and the situation should’ve been under control,” Karr coach Brice Brown said. “I’m disappointed in Lake Area, their administration and the head coach. This is exactly what can’t happen in Orleans Public Schools. This is an embarrassment.”
Karr principal Harold Clay Jr. said he spoke with Lake Area principal Darren Lewis and Clay said he expects Lake Area to institute its own penalties.
“I’m encouraged by their principal, who should handle this accordingly,” Clay said. “I have to protect my children. I can’t allow my student to get injured by another student or adult. They’re teaching, if you’re losing, to get in a physical altercation. I saw the benches clear, the drill team, the marching team and the whole team clear the bench.
“I hope we get it right this time, because the one thing I don’t want to see happen is an unwillingness for justice to be served. (Thursday) is sad day for Lake Area.”
Lake Area coach Derrick Lewis blamed the incident on the officials.
“My general feeling is that I fault the officials,” Lewis said. “Our kids felt like they were being cheated on certain calls. I really fault the officials for not controlling the game.”
Officials at Lake Area were unable to be reached Friday morning for further comment.
Sametta Brown, CEO of New Beginnings Schools Foundation (the charter network that Lake Area is under, emailed a statement about the incident though.
“On Thursday, October 8, 2015, our students displayed unacceptable behavior that was not representative of the high standards that every New Beginnings Schools Foundation (NBSF) student must uphold,” the statement read. “NBSF has launched an internal investigation of the incident and will determine the appropriate disciplinary actions for the students involved. Our staff is cooperating with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) investigation to determine the appropriate steps moving forward… My staff and I are strongly committed to ensuring that incidents like these are prevented and do not happen in the future.”