An added police presence and an entire football team suspended for half the game is how the Thursday night lights kicked off in Dallas’ Roosevelt High School on September 15.
The final minutes of the fourth quarter between Roosevelt High School and Eastern Hills High School a week earlier devolved into a brawl that started on the field and spilled off into an endzone. A video taken by one spectator shows the two teams converging and people coming down from the stands onto the playing surface.
“This makes no sense,” another spectator says.
Before the game between Roosevelt and the Italy High School football team, the Italy Independent School District (ISD) announced the Italy High team would have a police officer in tow.
Following the fight, an investigation ensued by Italy ISD. The district decided Eastern Hills would forfeit an upcoming game and Roosevelt’s players would get a half-game suspension as punishment.
“Our coaches continue to work with our athletes on good sportsmanship,” Italy ISD said. “As spectators and supporters, we must do the same. At all times, let’s remember to cheer and encourage our players and not engage in behaviors that could create a negatively charged environment.”
Roosevelt’s varsity team watched from the sidelines for the first two quarters while the junior varsity team was soundly pushed around. The extra police were also on the sidelines, CBS News reports.
“I think they were just a little leery of the situation they are going to put their kids in,” Italy ISD parent Richard Trees told CBS. “They are just protecting as I’m sure anybody would.”
Italy led 42-0 at the half and went on to win the game 49-12. This was referred to as a learning experience by the parents.
Ahead of the game, Italy ISD also asked fans at the game to leave the venue promptly for the safety of all involved.