Bits & Pieces: Homecoming brawl an example of a good rivalry gone bad

I was not personally at the Mt. Hebron homecoming football game against visiting Centennial on Sept. 21, but our assistant sports editor, Andrew Conrad, was and he recounted the following events to me. It started with some pushing and shoving in the Centennial end zone before it escalated into something more. With about a minute to go in the first quarter, the shoving started between a handful of players, and after several minutes of fighting, two players and an assistant coach were ejected from each team. After that, the game resumed, with Centennial winning, 28-21, against its arch rival. According to Jack Davis, the School System's Coordinator of Athletics, the matter is under investigation. Recent developments have surfaced that a Mt. Hebron player may have been injured in the brawl, and police and lawyers have gotten involved.

Football is a contact sport, and sometimes contact leads to something more physical. It happens in college games and in the pros, but rarely happens in high school games as far as I know. I don't think I recall more than a handful of fights in my four decades here, and we've had some intense games that could have erupted into something unpleasant. But they didn't. It is unfortunate that this incident seems to have led to an injured high school athlete and legal action.

I understand that there might have been some tension between these two schools in the past, but we have had tension between other schools and we haven't seen fights. The ejected players were sidelined for last Friday's game as well, and it remains to be seen what will come of the pending legal ramifications surrounding the injured player. That will be the end of this episode, and it might be embarrassing to the schools, but this fight will hopefully fade into memory quickly. You can be sure that the reins on both schools will be tightened when they play one another next season at Centennial.

It is hard to tell a kid not to get into a fight when he is being hit and pushed around. Still a player has to remember that even in the heat of battle, you hurt your team by fighting. Take a deep breath and walk away. It's the smart thing to do.

TriColumbia announces new director

Leave it to TriColumbia to come up with the right people for the right job. That organization, which puts on all of those great triathlons in the county and state, recently named LJ White as its Executive Director. She takes over with enough credentials to sink a battleship. She has 18 years of management experience and has served as the Director of Revolution3, an international race production company. She also founded Fins, WheelFeet and LJ White Health and Wellness. She is a graduate of Colorado College and has a Masters in Advertising from Northwestern.

I thought that the announcement of a new Executive Director might bring big change to TriColumbia. But I see that Kari Ebeling is still the Chief Operating Officer and tournament director and Linda Congedo is still the Director  of Communication. So all is well at TriColumbia. Welcome aboard LJ White.

County launches Little Archers

I am jealous of the opportunities that some of our young athletes have now that I never had when I was young. Take the Little Archers program that the Howard County Recreation ands Parks Program has started for children 4-5 years old and up. The program starts on Oct. 3 at Rockburn  Branch Park West with plastic arrows and suction cups on the tip of those arrows. I wonder if Matt Medicus, who runs this program, would mind having a slightly used sports writer participate. If you want your child to learn archery, call Matt at 410-313-4719. I wish had this kind of a program when I was four.

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