High school football coach on leave after grabbing rival player during scrimmage


LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) — An Oklahoma mother wants to see a football coach fired after a video surfaced of him chasing after and grabbing her son during a fight between two teams.

It all started in the middle of a scrimmage between the El Reno and Clinton teams when things got heated after a play. El Reno head coach Chuck Atchison said it seemed like everything had simmered down before getting worse again.

“I was highly upset,” said Kim Sparks, the mother of the player who the Clinton coach grabbed. “Seeing a grown man basically assault my son.”

Sparks said she’s still beside herself after he grabbed her son on Friday night. The Clinton coach can be seen in the video chasing after number 17 as he is walking away. He then grabs him by the shoulder pads and pushes him back, starting a brawl on the field.

“If everybody just would have walked away, it would have never happened,” said Atchison.

Atchison said it started as nothing out of the ordinary. Then, things got heated when an El Reno player felt he got his helmet ripped off after a play and threw the ball. The referee threw an unsportsmanlike flag on that player.

“Everything got broke up. Really wasn’t a big deal; you deal with those types of things all the time,” Atchison said. “Everything was pretty much over, and everybody was kind of walking away.”

However, it wasn’t over.

The coach ran at the El Reno player. The fight eventually moved toward the sideline. Someone even threw a helmet.

Atchison said he didn’t initially see the coach grab his player. Instead, he was in the middle of the field, clearing up what happened shortly before.

“I’m just glad I didn’t really know until afterward because I think I would have reacted a little bit different,” Atchison said.

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Clinton Public Schools released a statement on the brawl, saying, “There is nothing more important to Clinton Public Schools than the safety of all students. The assistant coach involved has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcoming of a joint investigation between Clinton Public Schools and El Reno Public Schools. Because this is a personnel issue, I am unable to share additional information about this situation. It is a matter we are taking very seriously.”

Sparks said her son wasn’t hurt and has put it behind him now.

El Reno and Clinton have begun a joint investigation into the situation.

The video of the incident can be viewed below.

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