Mike and I continued our quest to see some of the best football in Texas… well, we saw some of it last night, but we also saw some of the worst. Here is the letter I just sent off to the administration at Fort Bend Willowridge High School in reference to the game.
I sent the letter to:
Dr. Betty Baitland, Superintendent FBISD
Dr. Susan Wey, Area Superintendent FBISD
Ft. Bend Willowridge High School
Billy Polk, Principal
Ronnie Adams, Associate Principal
I attended the playoff game between Willowridge and Memorial last night and I have to say that I was disgusted by the performance of the Willowridge players and their coaches.
Two teams that have worked hard all season, including a win in the first round of the playoffs squared off to see whose state championship dreams stay alive. The game featured some great plays – excellent effort by the players – and tons of excitement for the fans.
The game started to get out of hand early in the fourth quarter and a couple of bad apples on the Willowridge squad started talking trash to the fans, the officials and the other team. The officials did nothing! It was their responsibility to keep the game in control and once they started letting these offenses go unflagged, thing escalated. It was then that I was telling my friend, “If these officials don’t start throwing flags for this nonsense right now, someone is going to get hurt.”
As the game wound down and it was obvious that Willowridge was not going to win, the trash talking turned into late hits and outright thuggery. On four different occasions, the play had been blown dead when a Willowridge player would haul off and flatten a Memorial kid who was walking back to the huddle or similarly not involved in the play at all. It finally culminated in a cheap shot in the back of the leg which resulted in a long medical timeout while they helped the poor kid off the field. THEN, the officials called a penalty.
What was supposed to be a memory of a lifetime for these student athletes turned into a bad dream for at least one kid and left a sour taste for the thousands involved.
My friend and I have picked a different game each week from the top teams in the state and seen a ton of great teams. We have seen courageous play, valiant efforts and the pure excitement of Texas high school football. We have seen a lot of good during this and previous seasons. This is NOT the norm.
The official should certainly shoulder some of the responsibility, but the Willowridge coaches did nothing to reign in their team. Shame on them for not putting an end to the poor sportsmanship and outright meanness. Those players involved (and I am sure you have access to game video) can be easily identified and should be facing consequences for their actions. Failure to reprimand the officiating crew, the coaches and the players involved is the same as condoning their actions.
Football fan and thug hater.
PS. I have no affiliation with either team and had previously never seen either play. I am just a fan that enjoys good, clean football. #92 was the chief instigator and incited the others. Also, it should be noted that #11 was a class act and walked over, shook the hand of a Memorial player and then motioned to the Mustangs congratulating them for their win.