Brawl with Diamond Ranch calls for action

On Oct. 18, emotions raged as the Diamond Bar High School football team engaged in a physical brawl with players from Diamond Ranch during a home game. Even bench players had entered the field and joined the sudden fight, causing game officials to have to stop the conflict.

“It was a very good game, a competitive game, but it was just disappointing to see our players react that way and their players react that way,” assistant football coach Jose Marquez said.

As a result of the fight, CIF had suspended all but one of the DBHS players from the game against Rowland. Addressing this unexpected situation, DBHS has made it a priority to prevent another confrontation like this to happen again.

“[The] guys need to understand that you need to play the game with intensity and with toughness but there is a line they cannot cross,” Marquez commented.

Following the incident, the school has now implemented a plan that involves teaching the players different ways to handle themselves.

This plan incorporates activities that range from supervision on the field to handling the media. DBHS invited Jim Perry, member of the CIF state Sportsmanship Committee, to Diamond Bar to give a speech to the football players on the correct forms of conduct during a game. Many coaches believe that teaching the players the vital importance of representing the school will help prevent another incident like this from happening again.

“By addressing the bigger concern of who they’re playing for and not just themselves, we hope that something like this will never happen again,” Athletic Director Kurt Davies explained.

While the clash was unfortunate, DBHS is looking to rebound from the incident and learn to improve for next time, in case any future situations forebode a similar arousal. The teams will be spending a lot more time on team-building exercises to develop a more poised demeanor in approaching football disputes.

“Coach Maine has been working with his staff and with Mr. Davies to prepare our student athletes for future incidents. They have been participating in drills so that if such an event were to occur again, our athletes could go into ‘automatic pilot’ and do exactly as they’ve practiced,” Principal Catherine Real responded via e-mail.

Real is one of many school officials who believes that the incident gives students a great learning opportunity to reflect upon themselves. Branding Iron activities during lunch had been toned down to remove all violent activities, and the football players had also personally apologized to the school through a video that was shown during the Branding Iron Rally.

“This was an unfortunate situation, however it gives our school a chance to become an even a stronger, better, and more uniform program,” Vice President Terry said.