Investigation begun in Georgia high school football brawl

Story highlights

  • David Daniel, coach of the visiting team, suffered severe facial injuries in the fight
  • The fight broke out Friday night after Warren County defeated Hancock Central
  • "All of Warrenton is just real upset," the Warren County superintendent says
A preliminary investigation is under way into an altercation that left a high school football coach hospitalized with severe facial injuries after a Georgia football game, a sheriff's investigator told CNN on Tuesday.
Inspector Ricky Brown of the Hancock County Sheriff's Department said initial interviews are being conducted into the incident, which occurred Friday night in Sparta between players from Hancock Central and Warren County high schools.
Warren County head coach David Daniel was released Monday from an Augusta hospital after surgery to repair broken bones around his right eye, cheek and nose, said Warren County Superintendent Jean Carey. She told CNN he suffered crushed facial and ear bones and an irreparable injury to one of his tear ducts.
Carey said Daniel was struck on the side of his head by a helmet when he tried to intervene in the fight, which occurred after Warren County, the visiting team, defeated Hancock Central 21-2. Carey said Hancock Central players attacked Warren County players as they were trying to get into their locker room, which was locked.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead told CNN that Carey had contacted the regional investigative office in Thomson, which covers Warren County, asking that the state agency investigate. "However, the incident venue is in Hancock County, not Warren County and, under Georgia law a school superintendent cannot initiate a GBI investigation," Bankhead said.
"That request would have to come from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, who is investigating this incident," Bankhead said.
Carey told CNN that Daniel "wants to come back to school and focus on (this Friday's) game right now. But he's got to take care of himself first."
She added, "All of Warrenton is just real upset."
Daniel was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach the week of the first game this season, after Marleau Blount, a Warren County alumnus, resigned under pressure for having practices with players who had not completed physicals.
Blount is now Hancock Central's defensive coordinator.
"It was real unfortunate," Blount told the Augusta Chronicle. "I'm upset at everything."
Sporting events between the schools have been canceled for the rest of the academic year, the Warren County superintendent said. The two schools, which are about 25 miles apart in east-central Georgia, west of Augusta, are members of the same conference.