Archive for Wednesday, September 29, 2004

City administrators to discuss post-game confrontation

September 29, 2004

Tonganoxie and Piper fans love to see closely contested competitions.

And administrators at both schools want to ensure everyone involved will do so with sportsmanship in mind.

Because of events at the Sept. 17 Piper-Tonganoxie game in Piper, officials at both schools have been discussing what went wrong at the game and what should be done in the future so cool heads prevail.

"We want there to be a positive relationship between the two communities and there's no reason why there shouldn't be," said Tonganoxie Superintendent Richard Erickson.

After Tonganoxie football players defeated Piper, 17-14, thanks to a field goal in the final seconds, players and coaches were supposed to meet a midfield for customary handshakes, but feuding started between the two teams.

Some coaches directed players back to their respective sides, but other football coaches engaged in a shouting match.

A Tonganoxie High School administrator also was pushed during the post-game scuffle.

Erickson said Monday that administrators from the two schools planned to meet later in the week to discuss how these incidents can be prevented in the future.

"Obviously there's some urgency," Erickson said. "We want to take care of this situation because we play Piper in a number of competitions this year."

Last week's Tonganoxie-Piper junior varsity and freshman games were cancelled because of the incident. Football players from both schools also were instructed not to attend last week's volleyball action in Piper where both Tonganoxie and Piper were playing.

Although the schools are natural geographical rivals, the rivalry overall doesn't seem to be as intense as Lansing or Basehor-Linwood.

But in football, the intensity between the two teams has increased in recent years.

The teams have played to a 17-14 score in three of the last four years with Tonganoxie winning two of those games.

The other game during that span also was close as Piper defeated THS, 7-0, during the 2002 campaign in Piper.

"Even with close ball games we want there to be a spirit of fair play and sportsmanship and shaking hands," the Tonganoxie superintendent said. "We don't need to be carrying grudges from one season to the next. We want to see that eliminated."

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