No suspensions for Bruins after brawl with LaGrange

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

A brawl broke out at the close of Saturday's Class 4A state playoff game between Northwest Whitfield and LaGrange high schools. No Northwest Whitfield players will be suspended for the altercation.

Northwest Whitfield High School baseball coach Todd Middleton will not suspend any of his players after they were involved in a postgame brawl with players from LaGrange High School after the final game of their first round Class 4A playoff series at Northwest on Saturday.

The Region 6-4A second-seeded Bruins travel to Region 8-4A champion Jefferson High School for a doubleheader tonight at 5 in the second round of the state playoffs.

The scuffle began after a LaGrange player "body checked" one of the Bruins during postgame handshakes following a 5-2, series-clinching win for Northwest, according to several Northwest players. LaGrange's Cole Freeman said he didn't see what started the altercation, but teammates told him a Northwest player "elbowed" one of the Grangers, instigating the brawl.

It quickly escalated into punches being thrown by multiple players with players from both teams prying people away from the scrum.

There will also be no further action from the school despite the altercation happening on school grounds, Northwest principal Britt Adams said. The Northwest student handbook outlines the consequences for fights on campus as "at the discretion of the administration depending on the circumstance."

"Every case is a little different," Adams said. "Every offense depends on the circumstances. Thank goodness we don't deal with these kinds of things very often."

Adams said photos were sent to the Georgia High School Association for investigation, but he has not heard of any discipline being handed down from the organization as of Wednesday night.

According to the GHSA constitution and by-laws: "All players who are involved in a fight and any substitutes who leave the bench area during a fight or potential fight and are ejected from the current contest, will be subject to the sit-out rule," but no clarification is given about postgame fights.

Calls to GHSA officials were not immediately returned Wednesday night.

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