After four-plus days of rumors, hearsay and innuendo, the Camden High School football team is still waiting to hear from the South Carolina High School League (HSL) as to any penalties stemming from last Friday night’s post-game fight involving the Bulldogs and visiting Dreher at Zemp Stadium.
Camden won the Region 4-AAA contest, 39-30.
The two teams were involved in a fight during the post-game shaking of hands. The video from the incident was turned over to the HSL over the weekend, according to Camden High principal Dan Matthews, who also suffered a cut over and around an eye while trying to subdue the fracas.
The scuffle, which one statewide media source reported as taking three to four minutes, was actually timed at lasting 58 seconds, according to one source.
HSL associate commissioner Skip Lax is handling the investigation and working with both schools in regard to the matter. On Tuesday, it was said that the investigation will take more time as Lax was still reviewing the evidence and speaking with all parties involved. A formal release from the organization regarding the matter could be forthcoming as early as today.
Matthews and CHS head football coach Jimmy Neal, reportedly, met with Lax on Monday as did officials from Dreher High School.
On Tuesday, HSL public relations director Tammie Newman released the following statement as to the status of the investigation:
"The South Carolina High School League, Camden High School and Dreher High School are each actively taking part in the investigation of the unfortunate incident that occurred after the football game between the two teams. We are counting on each school’s full cooperation and participation in the matter and hope to resolve this as soon as possible.
"The South Carolina High School League is comprised of over 200 member schools who strive to uphold the historical expectation that South Carolina high school athletes maintain an elevated level of sportsmanship, scholarship and honor before, during and after all athletic events. The Friday evening post-game behavior displayed by some of the athletes is inexcusable and will not be tolerated. The safety of our students, coaches, fans and community at large is of the utmost importance during any SCHSL sporting event. We will bring this investigation to a conclusion once all information has been received and assessed."
As he prepared to take to the field, along with his team, for Tuesday’s practice in preparation for Friday night’s home game with Richland Northeast at Zemp Stadium, Neal said he, his coaching staff and players had no other choice than to go about their business while the High School League continues to conduct its investigation.
"Everybody is waiting to find out," Neal said. "We’re waiting to hear (from the SCHSL), just like everybody else."