Port Gibson players suspended by MHSAA

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A total of 22 Port Gibson and Raymond High School football players were suspended for one week and each school was hit with a $500 fine by the Mississippi High School Activities Association Tuesday in response to Friday’s on-field fight.

Each team had 11 players suspended.

“This matter is still under investigation,” MHSAA associate director Rickey Neaves said. “We’re still reviewing the film and talking to the coaches.”

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Port Gibson coach Lynn Lang said he was disappointed that the players will miss this week’s key Region 6-4A game at Florence, but understood after a Monday hearing with MHSAA executive director Don Hinton that one-game suspensions were likely to be handed down. The school will not face probation, lose any remaining home games or future home playoff games.

The fight caused the game to be called in the third quarter with Port Gibson ahead, 38-10.

Seven of the suspended players are starters including Isaiah Anderson, Adarius Barnes, Darius Moore, Andrew Beverly, Calvon Smith, Quintarius Webster and Dakembi Stewart. On Tuesday afternoon, Lang received Hinton’s decision.

Barnes, a senior, is a Mississippi State commit and the team’s leading wide receiver and starting safety. He played quarterback in the Raymond game since the team’s regular starter, Silento Sayles, was held out after suffering a concussion against Mendenhall last week. Smith is the Blue Waves’ second-leading receiver and plays cornerback on defense. Despite the suspensions, Lang expressed confidence that Port Gibson (6-1, 2-1 Region 6-4A) will be ready for Florence.

“I’m going to show folks that I’ve got talent,” Lang said. “I’ll have Sayles. He wasn’t even dressed (against Raymond). I’ve still got my 4.4 (40-yard dash) guy in Tommy McCaplin and Johnny Hulbert, too.”

Lang said he regrets how the city of Port Gibson was portrayed after the incident.

“What bothers me the most, is what they said about Port Gibson,” Lang said. “We had a great atmosphere. The fans were excited.”

Calls to Raymond coach Charles Brown were not returned.