News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Oct. 17, 2011
WARRENTON, Ga. -- It's not your usual ending to Friday night football.
"It was a very dangerous situation," said Carole Jean Carey, the superintendent for the Warren County Schools.
She says Warren County's team was leaving the field in Hancock County after winning the game over Hancock Central High School 21 to 2. What they didn't know was that they were walking right into trouble.
"When our players got to our locker room, the locker room was locked," she told News 12.
She says that's when fans and players from Hancock ambushed them.
"It seemed like they were just waiting there," she recalled.
She was also there with the cornered players and coach. She says what happened next can only be described as an all-out brawl. Multiple members of Warren County's team were hit and bruised.
"We saw everything break out, and our coach ran in to the middle of it where helmets were being used as weapons," Carey said.
She also saw the blow that send David Daniel, Warren's coach, to the hospital.
"He saw one of our players as he was being hit from behind by a Sparta player. He was hit from behind with a helmet, and then the Sparta player was coming up to take another swing at that same player, and so our coach said, 'Wait! Stop! What are you doing!' And the player just swung around and smashed him straight in the face," she said.
Daniel was released from the hospital Sunday night after undergoing major reconstructive surgery to his face.
Carey says he had surgery on his injured eye, but doctors were not able to repair his tear duct. Daniel has crushed bones both above and below his eye and surgeons had to insert metal plates into his face to help reconstruct his face. Daniel has also received more than 100 stitches.
"This is just most unfortunate. It should never have happened, and we're just truly grieved that Coach Daniel was hurt so badly," Carey said.
She's meeting with the GBI and is requesting charges. Carey is also filing with the Georgia High School Association.
Hancock County Sheriff Tomlyn Primus says his men are looking into the situation. Even though the Warren County School Board has requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to get involved, Sheriff Primus says his organization is perfectly capable of investigating it themselves.
For the GBI to get involved, it has to be requested by a chief of police, the sheriff, the district attorney's office or a superior court judge. That hasn't happened yet. Sheriff Primus says his agency will continue a preliminary investigation. He says no charges will be drawn up until they have enough probable cause.
As for Carey, she say's one thing is clear.
"We will not be playing Hancock County this year. We will not play them in any other sport," she said.
As for Coach David Daniel, News 12 spoke with his wife this afternoon. She says he's resting and in good spirits. She also says he's already talking about getting back on the field with his Blue Devils.
In August, Marleau Blount resigned as the head football coach from Warren County amid controversy. That's when Daniel, the defensive coordinator at the time, was promoted to head coach. As for Blount, he is now a coach at Hancock Central. He tells News 12 he did not see the fight Friday night.
As News 12 reported in August, the problem stemmed from a few players on the team practicing without having a physical examination. Georgia High School Association rules require all athletes have a physical done before participating in any team activities. The school reported the infraction to the state and Blount resigned.