Jasper FB coach responds to Silsbee coach's statement about late hit
By Steve W Stewart/KJAS - Silsbee Head Football Coach Randy Smith on Thursday morning issued a statement regarding Friday night’s varsity football game at Jasper amid controversy surrounding a hit which may have knocked a player out for the entire year. Meanwhile, Jasper head Football Coach Darrell Barbay has responded.
In that game, Bulldog quarterback Leontay Sells suffered a concussion following a blind-side hit from a Silsbee defensive player early in the 3rd quarter. It happened about 3 seconds after Sells was no longer in possession of the ball after pitching to a running back.
Video shows the Silsbee player running towards Sells after he was no longer in possession of the ball, and then lowering his head and shoulder and going into Sells at full force. Sells fell to the turf and was unconscious for a brief time.
Jasper head Football Coach Darrell Barbay later called the hit “malicious”, and on Thursday he said that TASO (Texas Association of Sports Officials) has issued an apology after they reviewed video of the play. Barbay said TASO officials told him “We were in the wrong; we should have called a penalty”.
Meanwhile, in the statement issued by Silsbee Coach Randy Smith, he said “Any punishment given to any athlete in Silsbee ISD will be in line with UIL guidelines and Silsbee ISD Athletic policy”. However, Smith never said what - if any – punishment has been or would be given to the player.
Coach Barbay responded by saying that he has already been in contact with the UIL (University Interscholastic League), and they have assured him that they are currently investigating.
Smith also alleged that a Silsbee player suffered a concussion in that same game, and he said “Both of these video clips have been sent to the UIL and TASO for review”. However, Smith did not name the player or release a video of the hit on the player that he referenced in his statement.
Coach Barbay responded by saying that he has seen the hit on the Silsbee player that Smith was referring to. Barbay said “It happened early in the game. It was a legal hit, but it was just a hard hit”.
The following is the full statement from Silsbee High School Athletic Director & Head Football Coach Randy Smith:
"High School Football is a game played by student athletes, and sometimes these students make mistakes. Our job as coaches is to mold these young boys into men that become good husbands, fathers, and productive citizens. Any punishment given to any athlete in Silsbee ISD will be in line with UIL guidelines and Silsbee ISD Athletic policy. As coaches, we must work to make this great game of football safe. After the Silsbee vs. Jasper game on September 15, we have two players, one from each team, sitting at home with concussions. Both of these video clips have been sent to the UIL and TASO for review. I pray that both of these young men have a speedy recovery".