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Wilson County Schools announced Monday afternoon that the football season is over for varsity teams from Fike and Hunt after a postgame altercation between players from both teams at Hunt on Nov. 1.
The statement from WCS public relations director Amber Lynch read: “Wilson County Schools has completed its investigation of the fight between several players on the Fike and Hunt HS football teams that occurred after the game on Nov. 1. School and district officials have made a unified decision that the football season is over for both teams. Each team still had one more game to play in the regular season and were both in contention for the playoffs. The students involved in the fight will also face disciplinary action.”
The fight came after Fike’s 28-0 victory when players were shaking hands on the field. Wilson County Sheriff’s deputies used pepper spray to break up the fight.
Monday's statement was a joint effort by WCS superintendent Lane Mills, WCS athletic director Jimmy Tillman, Hunt principal Eddie Doll, Fike principal Randy St. Clair, Hunt athletic director Jon Smith, Fike athletic director and football head coach Tom Nelson and Hunt football head coach Keith Byrum.
“Participation in athletics is a privilege and not a right. Rivalries and traditions are important, but lack of sportsmanship from our athletes will not be tolerated. While we did notify the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) about the incident, we felt strongly enough about the expectation of sportsmanship that we did not submit information about the incident to the NCHSAA for review. We made our own decision following protocol set forth by NCHSAA to end the regular season and self impose the ban on the playoffs. Both teams will also be fined up to $1,000.”
Hunt was to have played at Havelock on Friday in a game that was postponed due to Hurricane Florence. That game will now be a forfeit loss for the Warriors, who will finish 4-7. Fike, which finishes 4-6, did not have a game scheduled this week. Both teams were in contention for an NCHSAA playoff spot.