News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012
WARRENTON, Ga. -- The Warren County men's basketball team was looking forward to a deep playoff run, but now, the team's post-season will be cut short.
"Today, we out here basically just to get our voices heard," said Warren County High School senior Ed'Ricus Williams.
On a rainy, frigid morning, Williams and other Warren County High School basketball players locked arms in solidarity outside their school.
"It seems like that one incident is kind of hindering us from progressing as a school," he said.
Williams saw that incident firsthand.
"It's like they on this side, we on this side, the police in the middle with their back turned to them spraying at us," Williams said in October, referring to the incident.
After the post-game fight with Hancock Central, Warren County's football season never recovered.
Now their basketball season is facing a similar fate.
"It's just real disappointing for the boys, and I understand that, and the coaches do, and the board does, but right now we just cannot play Hancock County," said Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey.
The basketball team wasn't supposed to play the Bulldogs, but now, as luck would have it, they're slated to go head to head in the playoffs.
"We feel like nothing bad would happen. We feel like it would be a good game like it always [is]," Williams said.
But Carey says her first responsibility is safety, and she's still not satisfied with the investigation and what's been done since the fight to fix things.
"This decision was made only with the best interest of the children and their safety in mind, which is our main responsibility as the principal, the superintendent and the board," she said.
She says she wants the Georgia High School Association to simply swap Warren County to another bracket, but that request was denied by the GHSA.
"It's not fair for us to be the team that suffers in this and loses out yet again," Carey said.
Despite all the bad, school officials want point to good news coming out of Warren County High School. Krystle Wilburn was named STAR student for 2012. The STAR program recognizes seniors and teachers for outstanding academic performances. Another senior, Javoris Wilburn, is taking a big step after college, too. He was just awarded a full scholarship to Albany State to play football next fall.