Fans, media barred from Enosburg-Winooski boys soccer D3 semifinal
Spartans and Hornets meeting for first time since physical game, alleged racial incident
WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - Enosburg and Winooski’s boys soccer teams are preparing to go head to head in a D3 semifinal contest on Tuesday afternoon, and neither fans nor media members will be allowed to attend.
It will be the first meeting between the Hornets and Spartans in any sport since these two teams faced each other back on September 18th at Winooski. That contest became more physical than your average high school soccer game, with officials handing out four yellow cards and a red card.
A video captured by another media outlet, which we do not have permission to use, appeared to show a Winooski player heatbutting an Enosburg player after the Hornet player had kicked another Spartan following a pass.
After the game, officials at Winooski alleged that Enosburg players and fans had directed racial slurs towards the Spartan players. Enosburg conducted its own investigation into the accusations, interviewing Hornet players and coaches along with the officials from that game. None of them corroborated Winooski’s claims, but the Spartans declined to participate in that investigation.
The two schools had agreed not to play each other for the time being, but the realities of the D3 boys soccer playoff bracket forced another meeting with Winooski the #2 seed and Enosburg the #3.
On Monday morning, the Vermont Principals Association announced the ban on fans or media at Tuesday’s contest, “to ensure the physical and emotional safety of all student-athletes involved.” VPA executive director Jay Nichols told WCAX Monday that this was a mutually agreed upon decision, but as the host, Winooski had the final say.
The school has since announced that the game has been moved from Winooski to Burlington’s Buck Hard Field and that the school is coordinating a live stream to allow fans to watch.
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