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Bellaire assistant won’t be punished

BELLAIRE — An assistant Bellaire football coach will not face disciplinary action from the school district from an incident that occurred during the first half of Saturday’s game against Wheeling Central.

Bellaire Local Schools Superintendent Derrick McAfee confirmed that the school district had completed its investigation into the incident that made its way — via video — to social media before the Big Reds’ 14-7 victory against the Maroon Knights had even ended.

“We have reviewed this extensively and we see no wrongdoing,” McAfee said.

According to McAfee, he and Director of Athletics Mike Sherwood watched several angles of videos and talked to people involved before rendering a final decision.

“We were absolutely satisfied with what we heard,” McAfee said.

An altercation occurred when a Bellaire player was hit out of bounds on a run. The Maroon Knight player was flagged for a penalty, but then the altercation really took off.

Video shows what looks like a Bellaire coach making contact with a Wheeling Central player, but Bellaire’s administration slowed the video down and looked frame by frame. It determined that the coach was actually pushed and then lost his footing.

“The video doesn’t show how far out of bounds the hit was,” McAfee said. “During the scrum, after the hit, is when our coach was pushed or bumped into by one of our players.”

McAfee and Sherwood determined that any contact that might have occurred between their coach and a Maroon Knight player was “not purposeful and therefore inadvertent.”

No players or coaches were ejected from the game by the officials. However, multiple offsetting unsportsmanlike penalties were assessed to both sides.

Wheeling Central head coach Mike Young also reviewed the video, talked to the officials who worked the game, and talked to Sherwood about the incident.

“It’s a shame that (the incident) happened because it was a great high school football game,” Young said. “They beat us and they played a great game.”

According to Young, the Wheeling Central administration reviewed the video, too. It believed it was up to the Big Reds’ administration to handle.

“At this point, we’re not taking any action,” Young said. “It was a great game and congrats to Bellaire on winning.”

While the incident continues to draw attention on social media, both schools are on to their next opponent.

“It’s the day and age that we live in,” McAfee said. “Every bit of drama can be amplified through social media. We hate to see things like this happen, but we’re just glad no one was hurt on either team.”

The Big Reds welcome Cambridge on Saturday for a noon kickoff and the night prior, Wheeling Central will welcome undefeated Shadyside to Wheeling University.

“We’re moving forward. We have to get ready for Shadyside,” Young said.

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