Dreher and Camden high schools will appeal the South Carolina High School League’s decision to place the schools’ varsity football programs on probation after several players were involved in a postgame fight on Oct. 17.
“While the school district believes that holding participants in the altercation accountable is appropriate, we also believe the decision goes too far,” Kershaw County School District superintendent Frank Morgan said. “We look forward to a fair and thorough review of this situation by the South Carolina High School League.”
Dreher accepted the penalties handed down by SCHSL against the individual players who were involved, as well as the imposed fine, according to a statement from Richland District One released on Friday.
But Dreher principal Jeanne Stiglbauer and athletics director Mike DuBard sent a letter Friday to SCHSL Assistant Commissioner Skip Lax requesting an appeal hearing regarding the decision to place the entire football team on probation, a sanction deemed to be excessive.
Players from both teams got into an altercation during the postgame handshake after Camden’s 39-30 win over Dreher at Zemp Stadium. School administrators and coaches broke up the fight.
After reviewing video of the incident and meeting with officials from both schools and districts, the SCHSL determined that at least seven players from each team would serve one-game suspensions, and some players would serve multiple-game suspensions.
On Thursday, the League announced fines and probation for both Camden and Dreher. The probation bans both squads from 2014 postseason competition and 2015 preseason jamborees.
Morgan said the district is filing its official letter of appeal with the League on Friday, and will wait to hear from the League as to the timeline for the appeal process.
According to a statement from Richland District One, the Dreher football players who were involved in the altercation were disciplined for their actions in accordance with the district's Student Code of Conduct and board policies.
Camden Police Department has said it is investigating and criminal charges could follow.
The High School League in 2013 instituted a new process for appeals.
With a constitutional amendment, the League established an 11-member committee to hear appeals on SCHSL decisions. The committee includes appointees from the state’s seven legislative districts, the governor, Speaker of the House, Senate president and South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.