The Greensboro News & Record today reports on an incident that stopped Friday's Victory Christian at Oak Ridge Military Academy game.
Oak Ridge is a military school for boys and girls in grades 7-12, located in Oak Ridge, which is in Guilford County near Greensboro.
The game was stopped in the first quarter after emergency medical personnel took nearly an hour to attend to Victory Christian wide receiver and long snapper Jonathan Bridges, who suffered a blow to the head on a punt.
Victory Christian coach Frank Crockett told the Observer Tuesday morning that an Oak Ridge player, with a running start, speared Bridges, who was knocked unconscious on the play. When he came to, Crockett said, he complained he had lost feeling in his extremities.
Oak Ridge coach and athletics director Otis Yelverton told the Greensboro paper that he disagreed that the hit was a spear. He called it a "stinger."
"That's part of the game," Yelverton told the Greensboro paper.
Victory Christian coach Crockett said Bridges, a Division I recruit, is OK now. He was released from a Greensboro-area hospital Saturday.
Crockett also said he did not know that Oak Ridge had post-graduate players on its team before the Kings arrived.
Victory Christian, which started the season with 30 players, is down to 24 due to injury. Crockett said his team (0-6) has three seniors, two juniors and 25 freshmen and sophomores.
Oak Ridge (6-0) is a first-year team with several fifth-year players and nearly a dozen Division I-caliber athletes from around the country, the News & Record reported.
The newspaper also reported that the Hargrave Military Academy high school team (1-5), which was going to play Oak Ridge this week, canceled the game after learning about the post-graduate players.
Crockett told the Observer Tuesday that he didn't know about the fifth-year players until his team arrived for the game last week.
"We got up there and found out they were some grown men," Crockett said. "But it was their homecoming and we did it as a good faith gesture."
Crockett said his team wasn't scheduled to play Oak Ridge and he was surprised when Oak Ridge coach Yelverton called early last week requesting game film. Yelverton told the Greensboro paper that he had scheduled the game last summer, but declined to tell the paper who he had spoken with."I don't know how the game got made," Crockett said. "The guy called me last Monday and asked to exchange film. I told him I'd never heard of Oak Ridge. He said we scheduled a game back in July. I told him that couldn't be true because I had not heard anything about it, and we had an open date on that date anyway."
Crockett said he forwarded Yelverton to school officials.
"They didn't know about it either," Crockett said. "But later, it was decided to play them."