Thursday, October 4, 2007

Weddington vs. Myers Park, other Union football notes

Weddington and Myers Park officials have different perspectives on what happened after Friday night's Southwestern 4A conference football game at Myers Park.

For a summary of school officials' actions in response to the situation, see the Sports page in Friday's Observer. But here is what the paper won't tell you:

Weddington won the game 38-37 on a successful two-point conversion in overtime. Quarterback Anthony Boone lofted a fade left to receiver John Paquette, who cradled the ball in the deep corner of the end zone. Paquette got a foot down in the end zone about one foot from the sideline, Boone said.

After an official signaled the catch was good, the Warriors left their sideline and stormed the field to celebrate with the offense.

Something then happened amidst the mob of Warriors and Mustang defenders on the field. A few Weddington coaches restrained players, players restrained players and one particularly angry Mustang had to be held back by a few teammates and coaches.

That's what I saw while standing on the field. And, according to school officials, the game tape does not reveal much more.

Said Weddington principal Brad Breedlove: "It was over fairly quickly. The coaches had it under control and our own players had it under control."

Breedlove, who attended the game, attributed the scuffle to the emotions of a big conference game. It was only Weddington's fourth SW4A win in its third year in the conference.

Cynthia Robbins, a spokeswoman for CMS, had a different take. Robbins, speaking on behalf of Myers Park officials, said a Weddington player made "inappropriate remarks" to a Myers Park player after the game, which may have incited the fight.

"It's never O.K. to retaliate," Robbins said. But "rushing the field like that is not a good idea no matter what...It's not really good sportsmanship. We don't condone that."

Robbins did not report any Myers Park injuries, but one Weddington senior had to be carried onto the team bus by two teammates. He took the bus home and was back in school Monday, healthy...

--Kudos to the Weddington players and coaches, who acted fast and got off the field quickly before the situation got out of control.

And kudos to coach Phil Williams and a few Warriors, who hung outside the bus to talk to reporters. Given the circumstances, I would have understood if they climbed onto the bus and left the school without granting interviews...

--Thumbs down to a few Myers Park fans who, while walking to their cars after the game, took some parting shots as they passed the Weddington bus.

--Kudos to the Marvin Ridge football team. The first-year Mavericks won at Unionville Piedmont Friday to improve to 2-4. With winnable games coming up against first-year Hickory Ridge (0-7) and Porter Ridge (2-4), Marvin Ridge could make the state playoffs. Four wins often gets a team in with the expanded format...

--Marvin Ridge had an off-field victory as well recently, when it landed the Bojangles' Shootout in December. First, the new western Union County school hired a Charlotte school's athletics director and basketball coaches. Now it has Charlotte's premier annual high school basketball tournament.

For a report on the consequences of this move for Union, see Sunday's Neighbors of Union County section...

--I don't think Central Academy should be fielding a varsity football team this year. With fewer than 20 players, the Cougars don't have the numbers -- or size -- to compete at the varsity level, especially not in a conference against several Class 2A teams.

Forget about losing games, including some by awful scores. What about the safety of some players? Many Cougars are big enough to hang in varsity ball, but many others are not. They should have fielded a JV team for a second straight year at the Monroe magnet school.

On the bright side, the players have not quit on coach Tony Pyland despite their considerable disadvantages. --Ryan Basen


Anonymous said...

A CMS official spokesperson stating they don't condone poor sportsmanship---now that's a funny one!! Talk to some of your own teams that have had numerous fights and suspensions this year and then you could talk about Union County teams. Good coverage Ryan--keep up the good work. If it wasn't for you, Weddington would get absolutely no coverage in the Charlotte Disturber--certainly not from Langston Worst.

Anonymous said...

"Thumbs down to a few Myers Park fans." This is an outright rude and biased statement which clearly shows the flaws in this work. The entire article ignores the fact that the Weddington players refused to show good sportsmanship by shaking hands after the game, rather they walked off the field showing certain fingers which represent TOTAL unsportsmanlike conduct. The Mustang fans booed this act, yet we as a crowd controlled ourselves and simply left. THIS IS A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME, of course people are going to scream and say remarks at a bus, you can look anywhere in the nation, you should admire the fact that Myers Park has some form of class and actually lines up to shake hands with their opponents. This entire article is false, except for the CMS spokeswoman.

Anonymous said...

Weddington shouldn't be in a CMS dominated conference anyway. Of course CMS will side with their school. A minor scuffle broke out, it was contained. End of story.

Except to get Weddington out of a Mecklenburg County conference and back with Union County schools.

Anonymous said...

Actually, as a player who was on the field and saw firsthand what incited the fight, here is what happened. After the pass to Paquette we stormed the field because it was the ibggest win in our history. Our kicker, #1 Shawn Dodd was blind-sided by a Myers Park player (I blieve number 7 or 10- whichever was a captain for the coin flip). He actually knocked his helmet off and put him in an EMT before we left. THIS is why the fight started. It was the worst display of human character that I've witnessed in my life. THAT is the true story, so take that into account before you made ludicrous statements about classless Weddington.

Anonymous said...

Myers Park is a bunch of thugs and sore losers who were just pissed off Weddington beat them in the last minute. Instead of landing big hits during the game, they are cowards and cheap shot their opponents when they're celebrating after the game. Real classy, MP.

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