Two Omaha Public Schools football teams — Benson and Bryan — have forfeited their games this week after an on-field fight after the end of Friday night's game between the two schools.
Benson will forfeit to Millard North and Bryan to Omaha Westside.
In a statement sent out to Tuesday to students, families and school staff that the district shared with The World-Herald on Wednesday, officials wrote that "the postgame handshake resulted in unsportsmanlike behavior that led to a significant disruption on the field."
Bryan beat Benson 24-21 on a game-ending field goal at Bryan Stadium in a game televised by Cox Communications. The telecast showed that as the teams were going through their postgame handshakes, a fight broke out offscreen, and the announcers mentioned it. The telecast then showed the fight at a distance, with both teams involved and punches being thrown. Spectators were seen running onto the field.
More fighting occurred in the stadium parking lot, according to multiple sources.
"Our district holds high expectations for good sportsmanship at all levels of competition," the OPS statement reads. "It is critical that all students who participate in extracurricular activities are always mindful of their behavior and how it reflects on themselves, their schools and our district. Those expectations were not met during the Benson High vs. Bryan High varsity football game on Friday, Oct. 8."
The forfeits, officials wrote, are "the result of a thorough investigation of the events that took place last Friday. The unacceptable behaviors violate our Student Code of Conduct and will not be tolerated. Our coaches will work constructively with students to review our high expectations."
The statement continued, "Our students deserve to participate in an atmosphere that is safe and free from disruption on and off the field. Our families and community supporters should expect the same when they attend events at our schools."
The statement was signed by John Krogstrand, athletic director for Omaha Public Schools; Rony Ortega, principal of Bryan High; and Tom Wagner, principal of Benson High.
Benson is 3-4 after last week. Bryan is 1-6 after the win snapped a 23-game losing streak.
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