By Jonah Lustig
Some losses in sports are tough to swallow. But after a 91-0 blowout in a Texas high school football game last week, one parent formally complained because he felt that players were “bullied” by the winning team’s coaches when they continued to run up the score.
The father of a Western Hills High School football player filed the complaint with the Aledo Independent School District after Aledo High School crushed Western Hills on Friday night. In the complaint, the parent argues that the Aledo staff should have taken steps to end the game quickly and spare the feelings of the Western Hills players.
“On Friday night we all witnessed bullying firsthand. … I did not know what to say [to my son] on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up,” he said in the report.
Derek Citty, superintendent of the Aledo school district, told ABC News today that his staff is currently investigating the issue. But he also said that while the score was unfortunate, he believes Aledo coaches did take steps to control the size of the blowout.
Referees and coaches from both teams were in touch before and during the game about the prospect of a blowout, Citty said, and they took measures, such as allowing the clock to run when it normally stopped.
Tim Buchanan, head coach of Aledo’s team, told ABC News that this is not the first time the team has drastically outscored an opponent, and that he needed to keep his starters on the field to prepare for the playoffs.
“Our backups are playing more than our starters are. We’re trying to get ready for the playoffs and our running back has only carried the ball five times. Our starting running back had five carries and four touchdowns,” Buchanan said.
ABC News was unable to reach Western Hills coach John Naylor for a comment, but Buchanan said that he spoke with Naylor after the game and did not get the sense he was upset about the way the victory was handled.
Officials from the Aledo school district have not yet determined whether Buchanan and his staff will be disciplined for the incident. In the meantime, Buchanan said he is confident his actions were consistent with good sportsmanship. The score reflects a severe mismatch of talent, he noted, and his team followed proper procedure to help mediate the blowout.
“We did basically everything we could do. You’re just hoping they can tackle you,” Buchanan said.