Foot-Brawl leads to suspensions



   A normal Friday afternoon football game between Pinewood and East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy resulted in a
sideline scuffle.

   Pinewood was losing the game just before the fighting began. The fight broke out when an injured Pinewood player on the side of the field started shouting insults directed towards an EPAPA player. The EPAPA player reacted to these taunts by walking over to the sidelines to confront the injured Pinewood player, and began to shove him. In response, Pinewood football assistant coach Colin Rudolph moved between the two quarreling players and attempted to separate them. Another EPAPA player tried to help his teammate, but ended up toppling himself and Rudolphover a metal bench.

   “I’ve seen some physical games – people with a little pushing and shoving – but this was definitely one of Pinewood’s highlights,” athletic director Matt
Stimson said.

   The fight ended with the ejections and suspensions of senior football player Jack Sweat and assistant coach Rudolph as well as four player and three assistant coaches from EPAPA. Sweat’s suspension was later repealed following the review of the game tapes.

   “Upon review of the film they realized Jack didn’t do anything wrong, throw any punches, say anything he shouldn’t have,” senior player Oscar Fick said. “Pinewood really didn’t commit any offenses.”

   After deliberations with both teams’ head coaches, the officials decided to stop the game.

   Officials are still deciding if the game will be recorded as a forfeit or
something else.

   Also following the debacle, two other football teams in the league have decided to not play against EPAPA. Pinewood’s decision whether or not to play them again in the future is
still undetermined.

   “That’s up for negotiation. They’re trying to get into our league. But as of right now, it would be up to the coaches’ and my decision if we want to play them
again,” Stimson said.

   The Pinewood team, however, has
decided to leave this conflict in the past.

   “All of us as a team and group of closely knit friends have moved on to greater things,” sophomore football player Clayton Hodgett said. “We all agree that that week is behind us.”