The video shows the Carrollton player wrapping her arm around an Okawville player before throwing her do the ground. The Carrollton player can later be seen gesturing and yelling at the crowd. The confrontation happened after February’s Lebanon Sectional Championship contest.
Okawville superintendent Scott Fuhrhop says he’s proud of the way his team reacted to the incident.
“Instead of focusing on the bad we should be proud of how the kids separated themselves from the situation," says Fuhrhop. "That's what we have control over. Fans and other people did stuff, but I can't control that. I'm just in charge of our coaches and the kids, and I'm very proud of how they handled the situation."
Carrolton superintendent Dr. Beth Pressler says there were a lot of errors in judgment made throughout the game that contributed to what happened.
“It’s a heck of a life lesson for them. We had student athletes who got very much pulled into a moment where they were not handling anger well. They felt they were being heckled and badgered; they didn’t handle it well at all,” says Pressler.
“It doesn’t make the behavior acceptable by any stretch of the imagination; they don’t feel it does, and I don’t believe their parents feel that way, either. It’s something we’re not proud of, but we feel it’s important to confront reality and do better.”
Fuhrhop says the incident could have been prevented if the referees had called more fouls over the course of the game.
“I've been to games this year, boys and girls, where you almost have to draw blood or lose a limb to draw a foul," says Fuhrhop. "It used to be more of a finesse game and now it's full-contact. It's just a different game."
He says this incident probably won’t change how the game is played.
“The thing that we need to teach our young adults is how to handle situations," says Fuhrhop. "Because of the nature of this game things are going to happen and we have to teach them how to deal with things as they come. There's a proper way and an improper way to deal with it."
Pressler says the girls who were involved were remorseful for what happened.
“Spectators on both sides, players, possibly coaching- there were people back in hindsight who can say that should have been handled differently. Certainly, people were very perplexed and unhappy about the officiating that night and how rough of a game was allowed to be played,” she says.
“Having said all that, you can’t deny that some very, very inappropriate behavior occurred. There were actions taken to change behavior. We look at it as important to be able to make an impact that truly encourages the kids not to want to go there again,” Pressler adds.
By the way, Okawville won the game 41-36.