Neither Swain nor Hayesville will face playoff bans for the fallout from last Friday’s game. NCHSAA rules specifically states that any team with 3 ejections that are classified as fighting will be banned from the playoffs for one year.
The Southwestern Officials Association serves as the governing body for members of the Smoky Mountain Conference. SOA booking agent and head Curtis Lambert reviewed all of the game tapes from the game and stood by the game official’s ejection of two Swain players and added two ejections for fighting for Hayesville players, in addition to one Hayesville player’s ejection for taunting and baiting, and a fourth Hayesville ejection for flagrant contact.
Each of the players ejected for fighting will serve a two game suspension, while the others will serve only a one game suspension. Hayesville will not serve a playoff ban since only two of the four ejections were termed as fighting.
“I stand by Mr. Lambert and the SOA, and appreciate their thoroughness and professionalism in handling this matter,” stated Swain head football coach and athletic director Neil Blankenship. “I also, want to apologize to our school, fans, and community for any part we played in the whole incident.”