Parents, Coaches React to Handling of Football Brawl

Parents, Coaches React to Handling of Football Brawl

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Lori Prichard reporting Parents and coaches are speaking out in support of Hunter High School and how it's handling a recent football brawl with American Fork High School.

"I'm very impressed with Maile Loo, our principal. She's never tolerated any unsportsmanlike behavior on any degree from any team, including football," one parent said.

Prosecutors filed charges against two teenagers in connection with a fight that had fans, coaches and players rushing the field at a high school football game.

William Shawn Asiata, 19, a former Hunter High football player, and a 17-year-old whom police won't name were both charged with Class B misdemeanors of assault.

Parents and coaches we spoke with say resorting to violence is not how to play any game. One parent says she's had insults hurled at her from parents on opposing teams. She says even her kids have been taunted by other players and parents. She says she understands the anger but not the action that took place.

You've likely seen this before American Fork versus Hunter High -- people everywhere, punches thrown, players turned fighters.

The head coach of Hunter High School's sophomore girls' basketball team, Kina Tua, says she understands a player's frustration, but violence should never mix with sports.

"If you're down, you don't get frustrated with somebody else by violence. You just calm down. Take a breather and let it go," she said.

With two minutes still on the clock, the scene was anything but calm.

Gerrilyn Mason's four children have played sports at Hunter. She says this kind of chaos can start by adults hurling insults at other parents and players.

"We certainly, as parents, have been the victim of horrible remarks made to us. We have tried to set the example for our children when berating remarks have been made to us on the sidelines, to walk away, never say anything back and keep our mouths shut," she said.

Gerrilyn says she's taught her daughter, Lauren Mason, that good sportsmanship means a good game.

"I don't want to get kicked out of the game and not play. For me that's the worst thing," she said.

Gerrilyn said, "There's no excuse for fighting or name-calling. It's just a game. You do your best."

Gerrilyn says she does her best to ignore name-calling. She says she's been called names at games by other parents.

"We've been called white trash. We've been told to go back to our double-wides after a game was over and we beat somebody at soccer. It's frustrating because I don't think it's [just] Hunter. I think it's everywhere," she said.

It's important to note that parents at American Fork High most likely would agree with Gerrilyn. No doubt many are fed up with unsportsmanlike behavior, such as that which led to the brawl between the teams two weeks ago.

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