Regional championship football game marred in controversy after Paintsville personnel makes contact with Williamsburg player on sideline
Friday’s regional championship football game between the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets and the Paintsville Tigers was a classic, but now many people are wondering what could come of a controversial moment that took place on the sideline between the Yellow Jackets’ star quarterback and someone who appeared to be with the Tigers in an official capacity.
After the conclusion of Friday’s regional championship contest at Paintsville High School, videos began circulating on social media that show senior Williamsburg quarterback Dalton Ponder running the ball towards the opposing sideline. Ponder goes out of bounds, and then it appears that an adult male steps towards him, pushing forward in an apparent attempt to make contact. Per official sources present at the game, an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on the Tigers’ sideline, but no other action was taken.
Twitter user Ryan Moses (@RMoses10) shared the video on Sunday, tagging several Kentucky High School Athletic Association accounts in a plea for state level officials to review the incident.
An account called Care Train (@richmond3323) later quoted the tweet, adding the response, “I am sorry it looked this way but to the Paintsville Cheerleaders I will no longer ‘protect’ you from getting hit. Was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. To the Williamsburg player that is, you know I didn’t hit you hard so don’t act all innocent”
The News Journal shared a video of the collision to our own official Twitter feed, which prompted a separate response from Care Train, who said, “There are 3-4 girls behind me, 3 massive heaters that were on behind me, and 3 large tents. Would you like for him to run into any of those 3 or me push him out of the way of those. You call it what you want but I wasn’t trying to hurt a kid.”
Yellow Jackets head football coach, and Williamsburg High School Athletic Director, Jerry Herron, said of the incident, “One of our student-athletes ran the ball to their sideline, and when he ran out of bounds he was knocked down by an adult. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.”
The News Journal reached out to the KHSAA seeking confirmation on whether or not an official investigation is, in fact, underway, and we received the following response from Communications Director Joe Angolia:
“This incident is not under our jurisdiction, as it is not covered under any NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) playing rules. It will be between the two schools to make contact with each other and resolve the matter.”
On Tuesday, Williamsburg Independent Schools Superintendent Tim Melton said that he was seeking the council of school board attorney Paul Croley, and that no communications had taken place yet between the two school systems. An e-mail request for additional comment was sent to Mr. Croley, but a response has not yet been received.
A phone message was left at the Paintsville Independent Board of Education requesting comment on Monday, but no return phone calls were received. Another attempt to reach the board on Wednesday was unsuccessful because of school being closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
This is a developing story. Please continue to monitor this post for further information as it becomes available.