Lohud.com was on the scene and caught part of the melee involving Peekskill players and parents following the Lady Red Devils’ loss at Tappan Zee in Saturday’s sectional playoff game.
Lohud’s Mike Zacchio was tweeting as things came undone.
“My goodness—about three fist fights have broken out,” he wrote. “Peekskill players were swinging at each other. Parents going after players.”
Apparently, bad blood had been simmering between the Peekskill players all season, and before she knew it, star senior Nyrie Holliman was ending her high school career in tears as she pleaded for her teammates to stop fighting.
Tappan Zee security called police immediately after the first punch was thrown, according to Tappan Zee interim athletic director Chris Rastelli.
“It’s been happening for a long time, apparently, and this was just the head of it all,” Rastelli told Zacchio, referring to animosity among the Peekskill players. “Players going after players, that’s what it was, and parents got involved. To protect their kids, parents got involved.”
Lohud, which reported that one woman was sent to the hospital, quoted Peekskill parent Jim Hunt, whose daughter is on the team.
“It’s embarrassing, it’s disgusting,” Hunt said. “We’re hoping the school district actually takes some action.”
Peekskill City School District Superintendent Dr. David Fine said his district will do just that, pending the outcome of an investigation.
“I am saddened by the unfortunate incident involving our players that occurred at Saturday evening’s basketball game at Tappan Zee High School,” Fine said in a Sunday morning email to The Peekskill Post. “On behalf of our school district, I can tell you this behavior does not in any way represent our school system, students or community, and that such actions will not be tolerated by our district. The safety and security of our players and fans is paramount, and we are thankful that the situation was diffused and that local staff and police were able to step in and handle the matter. Our coaches and district administration are currently in communication regarding the examination of the facts leading up to this incident and once this investigation is complete, we will respond firmly, swiftly and fairly. It is disappointing that our girls’ successful season will be overshadowed by this incident. The players who were not involved deserve more than that. Across the board, our student athletes are admirable players that embody the ideals of good sportsmanship, and I hope others will not take the actions of a few to define us as a whole.”