High school football referee attacked during Erath/West St. Mary game
When the West St. Mary Wolf Pack football team visits Abbeville Wildcat Stadium this Friday, they will be short one assistant coach and two players because of an incident involving a high school referee with 10 seconds left in the game last week.
The Wolf Pack played the Erath Bobcats at home in a close 22-20 loss this past Friday. The game had to be stopped with 10 seconds still left to play because chaos began to occur along the West St. Mary side line between the players, assistant coaches and a high school referee (the person wearing the white hat).
Allegedly, two West St. Mary players hit a high school referee, who is from Kaplan, and one West St. Mary coach pushed the same referee.
The referee, who now lives in Lafayette, went to the dentist on Monday to see if he has damage to his teeth. He is also expected to file charges on the football players and the assistant coach.
The name of the referee has not been released by the Lafayette Area Football Officials Association
Greg Gautreaux, president of the association, said a player or coach hitting a official is, “very, very rare in high school.” He could not ever remember it occurring in the Acadiana area. He did not want to comment on it because it is still under investigation.
The referee is expected to call a high school football game Friday, but it will not be the Abbeville/West St. Mary game.
This week the Lafayette Association officials met and talked about what occurred at West St. Mary.
Gautreaux told the officials to make sure there is security before starting the game.
In the meantime, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) began an investigation and has a hearing scheduled for Monday.
Keith Alexander of the LHSAA said, “It concerns us what occurred. I have been (with LHSAA) here six years and this is the first year I hear of a coach or player hitting a high school referee. This is pretty bad.”
One high school football official said he has been calling 25 years and he has never seen or heard of a high school player or football coach hitting an official.
According to Alexander, West St. Mary Principal Dr. Derrick White suspended the two players from school and there is a good chance they will also be expelled.
The Meridional left a phone message with Dr. White but he never returned the call.
Erath head football coach Doug Dotson said he did not see anyone hit the official because he was on the other side of the football field. He saw chaos breaking out, so he told his players and coaches to get as far away from West St. Mary players and coaches as possible after the game.
No one shook hands at midfield after the game.
What triggered the attack on the referee? Dotson was not sure because the referees were calling fair and he even thought Erath had the bigger penalties after bigger plays.
Dotson said he saw no police or security at the game, which is required. Erath Police Chief Gerald Hebert travels with the Bobcats on road games. “This puts a black eye on the game,”Dotson added.
In spite of how the officials are calling, Dotson tells his players not to tell officials anything. “They need to keep their cool and play football.”