BISMARCK, Ark. – In the small town of Bismarck things are typically quiet but the events of Friday night’s football game against Hackett caused a ruckus.
A football playoff game between Bismarck and Hackett ended early, resulting in repercussions for some players and a coach.
Locals like Cynthia Kaplin said they couldn’t believe their eyes.
“We had not seen a game like that, we had not seen that much hostility before, and that much aggression from another football team,” Kaplin said.
It was actions like late hits, punching, cursing and escalating tensions that caused referees to end the game early.
“We did see a lot of cheap shots, a lot of hits right after the whistle, I even saw a player holding one of our players down,” Kaplin said.
The game was called early with just over three and a half minutes left, and before that three Hackett players and a Hackett coach were ejected.
“There were quite a few players that we were able to point out, and we kept saying hey you need to throw them out, throw them out, throw them out,” Kaplin said.
The superintendent of the Hackett school district sent a letter to Bismarck’s superintendent apologizing for the events that happened during and at the end of the game when fans were leaving.
The letter also said that the actions during the ball game were a poor reflection on their team, coaches, administration, high school and community and he is deeply sorry for what happened.
Kaplin and other locals KARK 4 News spoke with appreciated the apology and said that it was very commendable and a showing of good sportsmanship.
“I believe that yes it was definitely needed, that there should’ve been an apology and that sort of thing, and it’s kind of nice to know that there are going to be some consequences for these players,” Kaplin said.
The letter from the Hackett superintendent said that they will be investigating the actions of their students.
Bismarck Superintendent Susan Kissire shared a statement commending the Bismarck players.
“I’m very proud of the way our players and coaches handled the events of Friday night,” Kissire said. “They showed true sportsmanship and self-restraint. We look forward to the second round of playoff games.”
The Arkansas Activities Association said that if the players ejected were underclassmen, they will have to sit out of the first ball game of the 2024 season.