School districts, law enforcement investigating after brawl at Woden-Joaquin basketball game

School districts, law enforcement investigating after brawl at Woden-Joaquin basketball game
Source: Video from public meeting of District 22-2A executive committee

TENAHA TX (KTRE) - Several East Texas school districts along with the Nacogdoches Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation after a fight broke out at a high school basketball game Friday night.

In the last two minutes of a district contest Friday night, Woden and Joaquin players got in an brawl that resulted in players on the floor and from the bench getting into a fight.

On a video shown at a District 22-A executive committee meeting, coaches and administrators could be seen trying to break up the fight. During the fight, multiple fans jumped onto the court, including one that appears to put a player in a choke hold in an attempt to restrain him.

On Facebook Monday afternoon, Sheriff Jason Bridges made the following statement:

I would like to offer some advice to anyone that is attending a high school event. In the event of any altercation, please let the proper authorities handle the matter. I know many people had good intentions of jumping onto the floor and trying to separate kids, but it is against school districts rules to be coming onto the basketball floor, and those rules are in place for a good reason. It is always wise to let school officials and law enforcement handle these types of situations.
Nacogdoches Sheriff Jason Bridges

After reviewing the game footage, committee members made up of eight school districts voted to suspend seven players involved, four from Joaquin and three from Woden. Three players from Woden were given two-game suspensions and three players were given one-game suspensions. For Joaquin, four players were suspended two games and two players were suspended one game.

RAW VIDEO: Brawl at high school basketball game

Woden ISD Superintendent Brady Taylor said a Woden fan will not be allowed at any more school district related games, sporting events and functions for the rest of the year.

Dr. Scott Tyner, the chairman of the executive committee and the superintendent of Tenaha ISD, said that high school sports are meant to be a learning experience for the student-athletes.

“For adults and fans, there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to come onto the floor or the field,” Tyner said after the meeting. “There are professionals who are trained to handle those types of situations. It only escalates things even if the person’s intentions are right.”

The district executive committee members included educators from the following school districts: Garrison, Joaquin, Martinsville, San Augustine, Shelbyville, Tenaha, Timpson, and Woden.

With the game being called with Woden up by 20 points, the committee agreed to allow Woden to be declared the winner.

On top of the suspensions, both Joaquin and Woden coaches have put additional punishment on the players that go along with the programs code of conduct. The district executive committee will look at rules to keep this from happening in the future, but the UIL could put the schools on probation.

After the meeting, coaches from Woden and Joaquin shook hands and smiled, showing that ill will does not seem to be there.

Woden will host Timpson Tuesday night. Joaquin will host Martinsville. Both schools have said they will be addressing their fans at the games on what is expected with behavior.

WEBXTRA: Fallout from Woden-Joaquin fight

Copyright 2019 KTRE. All rights reserved.