Did A Hamilton Football Fan Go Too Far?
Police cited a Sussex Hamilton student for disorderly conduct after running on the field and planting a Hamilton flag at midfield before the football game between the Indians and the Chargers.
UPDATE: Menomonee Falls Police Capt. Mark Waters said Tuesday that the 17-year-old Sussex fan who stormed the field was cited with disorderly conduct. The teen received a $429 citation for his pre-game prank.
According to police, the teen said he "got caught up in the school rivalry" and he acted alone, and the idea was his.
Whether you call it the “Highway 74 Rivalry," “The Seven-Mile Showdown," or the “Border Battle”, it is clear that Menomonee Falls and Sussex Hamilton high schools are entrenched rivals.
And as in any rivalry, there are plenty of pranks and trash talking between the participants. But school officials and police believe one student took things too far Friday evening.
Just seconds after the National Anthem at Menomonee Falls, a Sussex Hamilton student rushed onto the field and planted a Chargers flag squarely in the middle of the field. He then ran off the field and “flipped the bird” to the Falls faithful. Falls Cable Access caught the incident on camera during its pregame coverage.
The act earned the student a citation from the Menomonee Falls Police Department, and the Sussex Hamilton School District took disciplinary measures. Police will release the details of the citation Monday, but school officials would not provide details of the punishment due to privacy concerns.
“We obviously aren’t happy, but we are taking responsibility for it. I hope one kid's actions don’t reflect the entire student body, but that’s sometimes the case,” said Hamilton Athletic Director Michael Gosz.
Gosz wouldn’t say what specifically was done to punish the student, but said the measures were enough.
“They were pretty severe in my opinion,” Gosz said in reference to the punishment.
The flag-planting incident did little to help the Chargers’ cause on Friday. If anything, it further motivated an Indians team that already had plenty in the tank. The Indians ultimately pulled off a 24-21 victory over the second-ranked Chargers.
After the game, Falls Athletic Director Ryan Anderson commended the Falls student section for great sportsmanship, but also indirectly criticized the Sussex Hamilton student section via the Menomonee Falls High School Athletics Facebook page:
“Dear Student Section:
Thank you for being the best student section in the state of Wisconsin Friday night! Your relentless cheering for our team helped make a POSITIVE difference for our team on the field. Congratulations to our football team on a huge win this evening! As your Athletic Director, I am extremely proud of our student body as we showed class far superior to our rival school tonight. I hope that this enthusiasm spreads to all of our other sports and programs as tournament time is just around the corner. The SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD is certainly ours on this night….
Check out Patch on Tuesday to learn what the student was specifically cited with for his demonstration. Until then, what do you think the punishment should be for a student that acts this way? Should there be any punishment at all? Vote in our poll and then join the discussion in the comments.