PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There are new punishments in the case of two high school football teams that got into an ugly fight before a game.

The WPIAL was impressed with the actions New Castle has already taken since the fight. That means no more suspensions; however, the WPIAL has:

  • Placed the New Castle football program on probation for one year.
  • Publicly censured New Castle’s head coach.
  • And ordered Central Valley and New Castle to work together to develop a “Sportsmanship Plan” since they will eventually play again.
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The decision came out of a hearing that included administrators and coaches from New Castle, Central Valley and game officials.

“We went in there, and we threw ourselves on the mercy of the court,” said John Sarandrea, the superintendent of the New Castle School District.

The fight was just before the two teams played two Fridays ago. Video shows Central Valley coming onto the field and stomping on New Castle’s logo.

Central Valley says the location of a marching band forced them into the middle of the field, but New Castle players saw it differently and what followed was a fight that wound up with seven New Castle players and the coach getting ejected.

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“It didn’t matter if we were provoked or not,” said the superintendent. “To me, it did not give us license to do what we did.”

Since the incident, New Castle has already voluntarily:

  • Suspended six additional players.
  • Suspended its head coach for two additional games.
  • Reorganized home seating, so the band will not be where they were that night.

The WPIAL was impressed with the district’s pro-active stance.

“I can tell you that the New Castle School District has a done a great job of reporting to us internally of actions that they’ve taken in response to it,” said Tim O’Malley, executive director of WPIAL.

Central Valley also suspended one student on its own.

The WPIAL took no action against Central Valley other than requiring them to sit down with New Castle and come up with that “Sportsmanship Plan.”

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David Highfield