The DCPS School Chancellor announced Wednesday, 18 H.D. Woodson High School football players are now suspended from the 2017 Turkey Bowl.
The suspension comes after a fight involving Eastern Senior High School during a football game last week. Nine Eastern players are also facing a one-game suspension. However, there's a difference.
Eastern Senior High School is done for the season so the players will have to sit out of a game next year. For the 18 Woodson players suspended, their next game is next week's Turkey Bowl.
There is a video of the fight.
In the video, you can see the Woodson player with the ball. He's running towards out-of-bounds when an Eastern player goes into him. They end up on the ground, and that's when the fight starts. It was all on the Woodson side of the field. A lot of their players ran over.
Woodson was winning significantly when the fight broke out, sources said.
H.D. Woodson High School has been the reigning Turkey Bowl Champ for the past 4-years, according to parents, and previous reports.
After learning of the suspension, more than one parent echoed the same: they think it's intentional.
"I can't say collusion because I can't prove it … but you know, if it walks like a duck," said one parent who asked we not show his face. He said he is the father of a Woodson player not suspended and was also at the game in question.
He also holds the referees and the Eastern team responsible. "They were provoking fights throughout the game – from late hits until penalties that should've been called," said the Football dad.
The DCPS Chancellor, Antwan Wilson, said they looked at which players were fighting and which left their designated area to get involved.
Wilson believes all the athletes are 'good kids' who made poor judgment. He also said, "I think the punishment or the consequences that we've given are just in accordance with what comes when you fight in a game."
The football dad said all teams were warned before of fighting before last week's game, but he still called it a disservice.
"...A reflection of how much hate there is at Woodson winning 5-straight turkey bowls because that's never been done before," the dad told WUSA9.
Wilson said the game would go on so that the players who weren't fighting will not be punished as well.
The players suspended from both teams will get the chance to appeal before the Turkey Bowl is played, sources said.