Fight cuts short Indians-Bookers football game

Published 2:04 pm Friday, August 19, 2022

Players from Southampton High School and Booker T. Washington High School’s varsity football teams became involved in a fight during their preseason scrimmage Saturday morning, Aug. 13, and the remainder of the game was ultimately canceled, according to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office. 

Maj. Camden Cobb stated that the sheriff’s office received a call to respond to Southampton High School at 11:28 a.m. in reference to a fight in progress.

“Information provided was that the players were fighting,” he stated. “Staff were able to separate those involved and deputies remained on scene in case there were any further issues. The game was ultimately canceled.”

Southampton Head Coach Travis Parker said he had no comment on the matter at this time.

When asked if the Indians have any more preseason scrimmages scheduled, he noted that they had been set to go to Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond on Thursday, Aug. 18, but added, “We will not be going.”

Booker T. Washington Head Coach Stone Robertson said he canceled his team’s other preseason games.

“We’ll do everything that we need to do against each other till game time,” he said.

He indicated that the Mighty Bookers and Indians did not get far into their scrimmage Saturday.

“We only got, altogether between two teams, maybe 18 plays,” he said.

Robertson stated that he did not have any comment on the fight, but he shared how he and his staff were handling it with their players.

“What happened happened,” he said. “We learned. We took the negative and made it into a positive, and we’re going to work on what we need to work on to get better in every area that we need to get better in, and that’s pretty much it.”

He acknowledged the violence involved in football but highlighted the need for discipline to handle it appropriately.

“It’s a violent sport, but we still as coaches, as head coaches, we still have to be held accountable, we have to hold our kids accountable, and we have to teach our kids sportsmanship and how to play the game of football and handling the violence in between the whistles and that’s it,” he said. “And that’s not just Southampton or Booker T. Washington, that’s every school in this state, every high school in the nation, all of us have to do the same thing.”

He emphasized how there was a learning opportunity for everyone involved in this situation.

“Every situation that happens in your life you’re either going to fall and continue to fall, or you’re going to learn from it and grow, and so our plan is to learn from this situation, grow up, be better men, better football players,” he said.