SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)- A fight during last Friday’s football game between Savannah High and Cross Creek ended the game early and has caused both teams to forfeit their games scheduled for this Friday.
According to Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) officials, a player from each team began to fight on the field, and the situation escalated as more players became involved.
Due to the fight, SCCPSS officials decided to end the game in the third quarter.
The Georgia High School Association (GHSA) issued a statement on Wednesday, explaining that each team will have to forfeit their next scheduled football game due to the severity of the incident.
“The GHSA sanctions are significant due to the severity of the incident,” the statement reads.
In addition to the game forfeiture, multiple student-athletes face additional game suspensions due to their misconduct.
Savannah High is also being fined $1,500 for violating by-laws and is being placed on “severe warning status” for one year, meaning any similar violations could result in more stringent penalties.
GHSA is still investigating the situation, and there may be additional student disciplinary consequences to come.
There is also a joint investigation ongoing between the Savannah-Chatham Board of Education Police Department and the Richmond County School System Police pertaining to the fight.
SCCPSS Dr. Denise Watts said she spoke with the superintendent of Richmond County, and they are planning to bring both teams together for a “restorative conversation.”
“We are not going to sanction and compliance our way to better sportsmanship,” Dr. Watts said. “Our kids have to be reflective in that process, they have to own those behaviors and they have to think about the implications of those behaviors and more importantly how do we bring them together so we don’t have future events.”
In addition, players at Savannah High will have to take an online sportsmanship class from the National Federation of State High School Associations before returning to the field, this stipulation came from the school district.
SCCPSS athletic director John Sanders was asked if Savannah High would exercise its right to appeal the GHSA’s decision. He responded by saying each member school would have to make that decision, but when asked a follow-up question about if he would recommend appealing the GHSA ruling, he said he would not. Additionally, he was asked if Cross Creek and Savannah High would be allowed to play again. Sanders said the Sept. 15 matchup was the last in the two-year contract between the schools and it was up to each school to construct a non-region schedule. He said he would not recommend scheduling this matchup again for Savannah High.