A viral video on Facebook shows a high school football team interfering with its opponent’s high school marching band as it started to play the national anthem.
Pittsburg High School band members claim Deer Valley High School (DVHS) football players pushed them and even spit on them during their pre-game performance. The band was in formation on the field when DVHS players charged at them.
Sam Whipple, a PJHS alumnus, told WSPA, “Not only did they shove our band members, they called them names, scared them, yelled at them, cat-called them, swore at them–and to top off the cake one of the coaches even spit in the face of one of the band members. This should not be tolerated or allowed to happen.”
One band member told KRON4 that Deer Valley’s coach said, “Just push them. Just shove through them.” But the captain of the Deer Valley team dismissed the claim, saying, “Everybody was just confused.” Asked why the DeerValley team ran back out on the field near the band just as the band was starting to play the national anthem, the captain said, “When we came out to the field, our coaches were very cognizant of the fact that there was a regulation for the game, that the band cannot be on there as we practice. So we acted accordingly, thinking that we had the right-of-way, doing that, and that’s why there was so much–we stayed on the field, regardless.”
Deer Valley received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before the kickoff. Pittsburg won the game 31-28.
DVHS principal Kenneth Gardner issued a statement saying, “This incident continues to be fueled by exchanges on social media I am asking all of us to refrain from making judgments, expressing opinions or speculating on social media because in doing so we do nothing but continue to do harm and be divisive, we have always enjoyed a close working relationship between the two schools with a respectful rivalry on the sporting fields, it is my desire to continue that mutual respect and rivalry despite the incident in question.”