PHS track team leaves meet early after brief set-to

Deidre Cruse

Plaquemine High School track coaches pulled the team out of a district track meet early last Thursday after a brief confrontation between some PHS athletes and a spectator.

“[The spectator] was someone who was from White Castle, but was not a student,” Plaquemine Coach Marvin Price said of the verbal confrontation of the field at White Castle High School. “The track meet was three-quarters over. We just loaded the kids on the bus and left.”

Three PHS track team members might face disciplinary measures for breaking a rule against arguing with a spectator, Price said.

“As coaches, we haven't decided what their fate will be,” Price said last Thursday. He said the students could be thrown off the team.

“Nobody threw a punch,” PHS Assistant Principal Jerry Lane said based on what he had learned of the incident. “There was a 23-year-old non-student that got into a verbal argument with one of our track team members. The member's father broke it up.”

The Plaquemine athlete left the track to catch his breath when the spectator confronted him.

“It was instigated because they bumped each other, and it escalated from there” as students left the stands to see what was happening, he said.

Lane said White Castle High Principal Charley Handy later identified the spectator, Lane said.

“There was a crowd over there, and all I have is hearsay,” said Athletic Supervisor John Bueche, who was running an event at the time. “I don't think it lasted two minutes.”

Bueche said he later spoke to Handy, who said he didn't think any blows were exchanged.