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Please make a stand

And, so it has begun.

Coaches sweating.

Players getting after it.

Adults whining.

And, now, apparently, players attacking an official.

The Associated Press story starts out: “A San Antonio School district has suspended from the team two football players who collided with a referee.”

I have watched the video numerous times and “collided” is not the right word.

In my opinion, the referee was attacked, assaulted.

I am one for second chances, but these kids should be done playing high school athletics.

If they are underclassmen (the names have not been released), then they get the chance to play high school athletics next year. If they are seniors, their senior season is done.

Period.

They can spend the rest of the year getting any kind of help needed due to their actions.

This is not about the culture of football.

This is simply about decisions.

Now, you can debate the reasoning for this particular decision all you want, but it was a decision to, in my opinion, hurt a man.

It appeared, to me, the intent was to injure someone on purpose.

Otherwise, why do it?

It appeared the kids wanted to prove a point.

I’m not sure what the point was, other than being an absolute punk move.

This wasn’t a pat on the back.

It was a blind side hit that no official should go through.

I understand when referees get caught up in the pile.

This wasn’t that.

This was a beeline from Point A to Official A.

I have no problem if the players are arrested for assault.

Yes, it was that blatant.

The referee was targeted.

Player A hits the official from behind and Player B then comes in and spears the official.

They didn’t run into the official – they speared the official.

The two were ejected, but it has to be much more than that.

This, folks, was not a mistake.

This was a calculated decision to assault an official.

I would really hope the district attorney’s arrest the players tomorrow at school.

If the same thing would have been done on the street outside the stadium after the game, the players would be arrested.

An athletic field cannot be safe haven for unacceptable, despicable behavior.

There really needs to be a strong message sent around the nation and through high school athletics that something like this will never be tolerated.

A suspension from the team is not good enough.

The players should stay in school and be students.

Athletics be gone.

The referee was “very upset” and “wanting to press charges,” Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott told the Associated Press. “The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again.”

Marble Falls High School was on its way to a 15-9 win over John Jay High School.

The first player was 7 yards behind the official and clocked him.

The second player was behind and to the right of the official, at about a 45-degree angle, and literally speared him.

It’s a level of obvious that cannot be eschewed by anyone.

Both players were ejected.

Northside Independent School District athletic director Stan Laing said the video was “very disturbing.” Laing said the district is investigating the sequence of events leading up to the play, and the UIL is aware of what happened.

“The question of what instigated that is what we’re trying to figure out,” Northside ISD Athletic Director Stan Laing said in a story written by Ben Baby on mysanantonio.com.

Two other players from John Jay had been ejected from the game in separate incidents before the play.

“I’ve coached 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Marble Falls head coach Matt Green said in the story.

There is a line you just do not cross in athletics.

The players not only crossed that line, they obliterated it.

Just like what they did to the official.

* The Valley Youth workers network is sponsoring a community-wide rally event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Steubenville High School, with featured guest speaker Maurice Clarett, who will give his testimony.

A night of celebration and testimony will include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes representatives from Steubenville, Edison, Toronto and Indian Creek.

Plan on it being a great evening.

* Saw this on Twitter and it bears repeating.

The NFL Reality Chart.

There are over 1 million high school football players with over 310,000 high school seniors playing the game.

Some 6.5 percent play football in college.

There are over 15,000 college seniors playing football.

Some 1.6 percent of them make it in the NFL.

Yes, 1.6 percent.

The average NFL players is in the league for three years.

“At a minimum salary, you won’t make enough to live on for the rest of your life” the chart says.

“What’s going to provide for you and your family after football is over?”

“Your college education.”

Yes, the same college education that many get for free.

* Google Kevin Jordan/Tom Walter, Landon Powell, Owen Groesser and Chris Singleton and watch their stories.

You will be blessed.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com, followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike or heard weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Joey Klepack and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays on WEIR-AM).