A fight in the crowd brought a premature end to the annual rivalry football matchup between Park Hill South and Park Hill high schools Friday, Sept. 1.
“In order to keep everyone safe after a student fight that got out of hand, officials ended the Park Hill High School vs. Park Hill South High School game 10 minutes early with a score of 42 to 0. Nobody involved with the fight needed medical attention,” a statement the school district released after the game read.
Early in the fourth quarter, officials paused the game at Park Hill District Stadium while uniformed officers responded to an area on the concourse. Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department officers, Platte County Sheriff’s Office deputies and school officials were seen running toward the north gate of the stadium in the direction of the north parking lot.
Because of the matchup, the stands were packed with standing room only areas next to the visitor’s bleachers filled with Park Hill fans. At about 9:15 p.m., an announcement was made that police were asking anyone not in the seats to leave the stadium.
The game was stopped with 9 minutes, 44 seconds remaining and Park Hill leading 42-0.
Players, coaches and officials stood on the field and waited until the game was finally called off at 9:21 p.m. Park Hill was declared the winner, but both teams remained on the field while police cleared the fans rest of the stadium.
For more information on the game, see Sports Weekly starting on page 7 of this week’s issue.
Following the initial release, Park Hill superintendent Dr. Jeanette Cowherd followed with a message sent out to district patrons by email on Monday. She called it an opportunity to provide more information.
“It is disappointing that the unacceptable actions of a few students tarnished our community’s experience at what should have been a positive event,” Cowherd wrote. “The overwhelming majority of the students and parents at the Park Hill High School vs. Park Hill South High School game, including the players, handled themselves beautifully and we are very proud of their behavior.”
“Unfortunately, not everyone met our behavior expectations.”
Cowherd declined to provide specifics but indicated that there was a “group of students who kept meeting to fight around our stadium.” She also acknowledged an ongoing investigation.
“I can tell you that the rumors of a weapon involved in the fight were not true. And I can tell you that we are working with local law enforcement to investigate this fight and determine next steps to ensure something like this does not happen again,” she wrote.
Anyone with videos or photos from the fight are encouraged to send them to Park Hill director of student services Dr. Josh Colvinat firstname.lastname@example.org.