Monday, October 25, 2010

Olympic coach: No concerns playing at Garinger

Olympic High football coach Barry Shuford said he has "absolutely no concerns" with his team playing at Garinger Friday.

A fight broke out in the stands during Garinger's home game with Charlotte Catholic last week and school officials stopped the game at the start of the fourth quarter with Catholic leading 37-7.

As fans were leaving, another incident happened outside the stadium and police said there were gunshots fired. Two adults and one 17-year-old Garinger student were arrested. No one was struck by gunfire, but a policeman injured his hand trying to break up a fight.

Shuford said that kind of incident could've happened anywhere in the county.

"I know (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) will do what they can to make it safe," said Shuford, who coached at Garinger in the mid-'90s. "It was an isolated thing in the parking lot and all the metal detectors in the world won't stop something that happens in the parking lot.

"There are some extra dark areas at Garinger between the stadium and the parking lot. It's been that way for 15 years, but I'm sure they'll beef up security in those areas."

In the past 25 years, there have been several incidents with violence at football games. Among them:

- In 1988, three people, including an assistant coach, were shot with a .22-caliber pistol during a West Charlotte-Garinger game.

- In 1990, a Myers Park student was shot and killed by a stray bullet as he left a Harding at Myers Park game.

- A West Charlotte-Garinger game at Memorial Stadium in 1993 was stopped after a fight in the stands broke out amid cries that someone had a gun.

- In 2001, police made four arrests after gunshots injured two people after a West Charlotte-Garinger game.

- In 2006, a fight broke out at East Mecklenburg after a game with Myers Park. One East Meck student and one from Garinger were beaten with a metal crutch after a group of spectators followed them to a church parking lot after the game. Police said the attack was gang-related.

CMS has responded quickly to incidents over the years.

In 1990, after the Myers Park student was shot and killed, school officials moved game times up 90 minutes, to 6 p.m., before low attendance forced a move back to 7:30.

In 1996, CMS added mandatory metal-detector checks for spectators at all football and basketball games.

In 2001, following the West Charlotte-Garinger incident, CMS permanently moved up the start times of games to 7 p.m.

System athletics director Vicki Hamilton met with Charlotte Catholic officials Monday morning and said CMS staff are devising a plan for Friday's Garinger-Olympic game as well as six other CMS home games.

"When you have a disruption at an athletic event," she said, "you're going to have to shore up what you need to do, what type of coverage you need to have. We're beginning to have those conversations now. This was an isolated incident. I know Garinger's players wanted their homecoming game to be special and so did the fans in the stands.

"Unfortunately, some people there - and I can't call them fans - decided they wanted to disrupt a football game. This reflects so badly on them and unfortunately, the carryover goes out to the school and community, and Garinger has done everything right this year as far as their stadium and security plan."

Olympic coach Shuford said he had not heard from any parents with any concerns about playing at Garinger. He called this week "business as usual."

"I never felt threatened when I coached there," he said. "My kids have been to that stadium since they were little. My son will be on the sideline Friday night. I think you have a bigger risk standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot at midnight trading film than any concern you have going to Garinger for a football game."


Anonymous said...

What a great story Langston! You have nothing better to write about? Write about Butler or seem to enjoy that and do a much better job at it...

Anonymous said...

The Garinger football team has worked hard this season and as a result has a five win season! Please do not let a group of idiots take away from their accomplishments. It would be great if the Olympic parents would give them a standing ovation. They deserve it.

Anonymous said...

they don't deserve s**t.....that school has always been full of a bunch of hoodlums and always will be. stop pretending like garinger is safe.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:50, Langston could write about Butler, but we still wouldn't be able to comment on it.

Christian said...

I am a Garinger alumnus and I had felt very safe at the school (2006-10). Crap happens everywhere but it is more known when it happens in a predominantly black school so that it gives the system more of a reason to shut the school down. Go to some of these white schools and the students there are just as guilty at committing the same crime (e.g. weapon/drug possession and uses)

Anonymous said...

"I had felt very safe at the school (2006-10)"

Nice grammar, Garinger must be a great school.

Anonymous said...

You can tell we have a bunch of sorry soccer mom racists here from Ballantyne commenting on something they know nothing about. We were walking to our car and no one knew what was going on in the parking lots. A couple of redneckish students were staring at me in a very threatening way as I was trying to get in my car. I am a middle age femail and believe in protecting myself so I pulled out my can of tear gas and told them to move the hell along. I have seen things go badly at these games and I won't hesitate to defend myself against people attempting hate crimes. I am retired from the school system but won't be a victim. You southpark mall trash talkers should go shopping and let us deal with the real world.

Anonymous said...

"I think you have a bigger risk standing in the Wal-Mart parking lot at midnight trading film than any concern you have going to Garinger for a football game." Naturally someone else wants to say something degrading and nasty about latinos, as this comment about Wal-Mart is obviously directed at us. We have a right to go to Wal-Mart and to your foolish game and there is nothing you can do about it. The hateful whites on these comments will not mean anything to us. Please do not say bad things about Wal-Mart just because you think you are too good to shop there or that latinos have no right to be there.

Anonymous said...

To the person above whining and pouting about not being able to comment on Butler: you are right. There is no reason you have to get on here and slander Butler so you will continue to be blocked.

There is nothing to say and that is not the topic. Thanks to the gay bashers for going after some faculty members of Butler with your slander and hate. Hate speech will not be tolerated nor will bullying from parents against gay teachers.

Anonymous said...

If one of those racist students would have moved toward me in the parking lot, I would have used that tear gas in a heartbeat. Good for you for not becoming a victim. Vilma Leake was right and told us we should always defend our rights.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:59AM,

I was noting that no comments were allowed on the Butler rapist or the Principal who tried to cover it up. Don't know anything about a gay teacher.

Anonymous said...

There was no rapist, no facts, no crime. How can you cover up a fantasy? Mr. White of the school board has even shaken his head at the gall of some people, obviously praying for their souls.