Nasty fistfights break out between Greer and Greenville in tournament

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Friday, June 8, 2012

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Greer's Quez Nesbitt is escorted from the Greer practice fields after repeatedly defending his actions in a free-for-all between Greer and Greenville players today.

Jim Fair

Greer's Quez Nesbitt is escorted from the Greer practice fields after repeatedly defending his actions in a free-for-all between Greer and Greenville players today.



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There were so many fights breaking out at Greer's scrimmage against Greenville today that bystanders and coaches from other teams can be seen in this photo trying to give aid to both teams' coaching staffs.

Jim Fair

There were so many fights breaking out at Greer's scrimmage against Greenville today that bystanders and coaches from other teams can be seen in this photo trying to give aid to both teams' coaching staffs.



Enlarge photo

Greer Athletics Director Travis Perry halts his players from getting onto the field during a free-for-all midway during today's passing scrimmage with Greenville. Perry didn't get out unscathed as he received kicks and scrapes on his legs.

Jim Fair

Greer Athletics Director Travis Perry halts his players from getting onto the field during a free-for-all midway during today's passing scrimmage with Greenville. Perry didn't get out unscathed as he received kicks and scrapes on his legs.



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Quarterback Emmanuel Kelly of Greer offers his hand in an effort to mend fences after the passing scrimmage was halted with Greenville when both teams initiated fistfights that were akin to street fights.

Jim Fair

Quarterback Emmanuel Kelly of Greer offers his hand in an effort to mend fences after the passing scrimmage was halted with Greenville when both teams initiated fistfights that were akin to street fights.



Nasty fistfights broke out today between host Greer High School and its rival Greenville HS at the 7-on-7 passing tournament at the Greer practice fields. Both teams had to be separated by each school’s coaching staffs and volunteers. Coaches from other fields also rushed to help stop the fights.

No injuries were reported, the scrimmage between the teams was stopped and Quez Nesbitt was banished from the field by Greer Head Coach Will Young.

Greer Athletic Director Travis Perry was on the field as defensive coordinator and said he sensed friction from the teams developing a couple of plays earlier. “They (Greenville) appeared to initiate extra contact and holding before the fight broke out,” Perry said.

Nesbitt scored on a bullet touchdown pass from Emmanuel Kelly midway into the scrimmage and flipped the ball to a Greenville defender in the end zone three plays before the fights broke out. Nesbitt’s teammates, on the sideline, acknowledged the taunting, chiding Nesbitt.

Greenville’s next play resulted in some pushing and shoving from both teams and Greenville players offered their own taunts. There was a little more aggressiveness on the second play and one play later both sides let loose with a barrage of punches that resulted in several vicious fights all over the field.

Helmets were tossed aside and some players, from both teams, were seen sucker punching unsuspecting players. When asked if the fights were akin to a street fight, Perry agreed.

As coaches would get a handle on one or two fights another couple of pockets broke out. That brought coaches running from other fields to help separate both teams. It took several minutes to restore order. The scrimmage was halted and both teams were summoned by their coaches to opposite ends of the field.

“It lasted a while,” Perry said. “I don’t like it and we will be discussing what to do next.  We’ll be talking to our coaches and players and I expect there may be some (players) disciplined next weekend. We will handle that internally.” Greer plays in a passing tournament at the University of South Carolina next Saturday.

Young was demonstrative and visably upset as he admonished his players after the fight and reminded them that a suspension automatically occurs following ejection from a game during the season. Young was the person most caught off guard since he was floating between fields as tournament director.  There were no officials and no noticeable taping of the scrimmages by any of the nine teams. Typically, there is no security present at these competitions.

Ironically, Nesbitt was not removed from the field because of his involvement with the taunting incident and fight. He repeatedly defended his actions in the impromptu scolding until Young asked coaches to assist Nesbitt off the field after he initially refused.

Players were seen high-fiving each other afterward.

Perry was asked if there was a code of conduct for the Greer tournament. “We follow the code the high school league sets,” Perry said. He was also asked why both teams were not summarily dismissed from the tournament. “If we had done that the other teams who paid $100 would have lost out.”

No other coaches from the other schools would talk on the record about the fights and two said they had contacted their athletic directors about the incident. Some bystanders sourced the origin of the fight from bad blood between the rival schools through the years.

The teams were brought together again before lunch to try put an end to the incident. Each teams’ players were encouraged to shake hands with their rivals.

They meet again on Sept. 14 when Greer plays Greenville in a Region II-3A game at Sirrine Stadium. Greer beat Greenville 59-14 last year at Dooley Field.

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