published Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Fans part of 7-on-7 scrimmage brawl

What began as a scuffle between individual players from Signal Mountain and Soddy-Daisy quickly turned into a benches-clearing brawl that included spectators Saturday afternoon.

The incident erupted near the end of the 12-team 7-on-7 passing league tournament at Signal Mountain. Immediately after the host Eagles scored to tie their scrimmage against Soddy-Daisy, one player from each team began shoving and then exchanged punches in an end zone on the side of the field that was lined with more than 20 Signal Mountain fans.

Players from both sidelines rushed in, and several skirmishes broke out. But as coaches from both teams tried to break up the fights, several fans came off the sideline and began throwing punches as well.

“Tempers flare during a game or scrimmage. That’s going to happen,” Soddy-Daisy coach Kevin Orr said. “The coaches can handle separating the kids, but when we saw adults getting involved and punching kids, that’s when it escalated. I’m responsible for protecting every one of my players.”

It took more than five minutes for the fights to be broken up and the teams sent to their separate sidelines.

While temperatures were mild early Saturday, tempers were not. There were other skirmishes that broke out during the day, including one that involved Bradley Central and Cleveland players. However, in none of the other instances did spectators become involved.

“My problem with it is that parents and fans don’t have any business being on the field or standing that close to the action to begin with,” Orr said. “Only the players, coaches and trainers should be on the field. Everybody else needs to be in the stands. That whole mess lessened the games we all played today, and if I find out any of our parents or fans ran across the field and got involved, we’ll have a meeting and make sure it’s understood that’s not acceptable.”

As is customary at 7-on-7 passing games, there were no referees. There also were no police or security officials.

Once order was restored, the teams continued playing, although neither reached the final.

Signal Mountain coach Bill Price said he preferred not to discuss details of the fight, saying only, “It was just a good scuffle, but I don’t want to dwell on the negative.”

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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kersey said...

Dads need to be in the stands, not on the field. This is high school football, not little league.

July 17, 2011 at 8:18 a.m.
MemphisGuy25 said...

It is sad that Bill Price allows for these parents to stand on the sidelines during scrimmages, games, and even practices. I have seen them play numerous times and there are at least 30 Dads and even Moms on the sidelines during games. These people have NO business being down there at any time! These parents must feel that they are entitled to be down there because they pump money into the program or their son is the next superstar. Bill Price should get control and not allow parents any where near the field. Practices should be closed to the parents and during games they should sit in the stands with everybody else. This fight might not of gotten out of hand if the parents were where they should be and not down on the sidelines. Congrats to the 2 Dad's who punched to of the Soddy players. Real Mature. I bet you feel real big and bad that you punched a 17 year old kid. I hope they press charges. Signal Mountain is going to get the reputation for being a bunch of punks where fights always start. 2010 Baylor Spring Scrimmage?? 2010 Trousdale County Game?? And now this 7 on 7 Tournament. Bill Price should take ownership for his players and get control of his parents before something bad really happens. Stephen Hargis wrote a great article as usual and Bill Price comments showed how he enjoys for these things to happen and doesn't try to stop them...he just fuels the fire. He knows that the parents have no business being down there but he doesn't have the guts to tell Mr. Money Bags to go and sit in the stands with the rest of the fans. O and one last thing, I would have liked to see Bill Price and Signal Mountain win a State Championship with ONLY Signal Mountain kids...

July 17, 2011 at 8:26 a.m.
Logan72 said...

I speak with intimate knowledge of the situation. The "Dads" on the Signal Mtn. sideline at the 7-on-7 positioned themselves in such a manner in an attempt to put pressure on the Signal coaching staff to play their kids. Traditionally in athletic competitions, the parents of the best athletes stay well away from the action. It is the Dad of the marginal athlete that engages in this type of behavior.

July 17, 2011 at 9 a.m.
Onlooker said...

As far as Signal getting the reputation of punks who start fights, to late already done. Give it a couple more years when Price brings so many "Athletes" in to play ball that don't live anywhere close to the mountain, that there won't be but a couple of positions open to kids who do live there and then see how the parents react. Signal Mtn is a proud community of people and should be but there will only be so much that they can even take if its at the expense of their own kids. Reference Lake View Ft. O when coach Allen was bringing kids in from all over Chattanooga to play ball there and see how the parents reacted. Price has a win at all cost mentallity, with the exception of getting kids hurt and thats no secret. Its getting out of control and snowballing fast but the quote of Price after the game was priceless. Compare it to Coach Orr's and make your own decision.

July 17, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.
AlcoaF5 said...

Just WOW! Championship teams that do not have pride and discipline will not be championship teams for long. Maryville College held a league camp Saturday with 30 teams and did not have one incident. If the F5, Maryville or even Greeneville were to take the field against a team this undisciplined I have an idea it would be more than feelings geting hurt.

July 17, 2011 at 2 p.m.
sunnyday13 said...

Ridiculous comments at the end of this article...lots of assumptions from people who have no idea what they're talking about, especially the one that has "intimate knowledge of the situation". The very thought that Coach Price would give a flip about what a Dad thought about his kids playing time makes me laugh...and BTW, Signal Mountain DID win a State Championship with Signal Mountain kids.

July 17, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
MemphisGuy25 said...

The Administration should be informed of the events that took place yesterday. This should not be one of those issues that Signal Mountain just sweeps underneath the rug like the incident involving the players who got drunk and then a few weeks pass after the season had ended and it was brought to light. Typical. I also hope that some type of control will now be enforced at Signal. If junk like this continues nobody will want to play Signal Mountain in anything because of the reputation that they have brought upon themselves. Yes Signal Mountain did win a State Championship...with a majority of the players being Signal Mountain kids, however the following players are not Signal Mountain kids (Who were major players in the state championship run) and never will be Signal Mtn. kids: Darrien Hogans (Highway 58 resident), Chris Abernathy (Howard Student bussed up mtn. daily), Donnie Garner (East Ridge resident), and Gervell Morgan. I wish the TSSAA would get involved in and find out how all of the sudden players like this just end up on the mountain and go to school there with no repercussions...

July 17, 2011 at 9:20 p.m.
muffdiver111 said...

Bill Price is a no class bully.

July 17, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.
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