WARRENTON, Ga. — There was no way David Daniel was going to miss this game.
The Warren County High School football coach, reportedly attacked by a Hancock Central High School player after an Oct. 14 road win, is recovering, but he spent Friday night in the press box watching his team play its homecoming game.
“They’re good kids,” Daniel said. “I feed them, take care of them. I love my players.”
Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey said Hancock Central players were using helmets as weapons after the game as Warren County tried to get into its locker room. Daniel and Carey both say a Warren County player was hit from behind with a helmet, which was when Daniel tried to intervene and got struck himself. The coach said he doesn’t remember much else about what happened. The hurt player, Daniel Spence, suffered a concussion.
Daniel said he spent about 5 ½ hours in the operating room after the attack, and five metal plates were inserted into the right side of his face.
Daniel, who did see his Screaming Devils practice Thursday, has been trying to sleep sitting up to help his eye. The coach also said the bones inside his sinuses look “like cornflakes.”
Acknowledging the severity of such an attack by saying he could have been killed, Daniel said he is mostly worried about how his family and players handle the situation. He said he is doing better and has received many well-wishes from around the area.
“I appreciate the support from all the people,” Daniel said. “It makes my heart feel good. That’s the biggest thing.”
The investigation is ongoing, and Thursday the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department asked for assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Sheriff Tomlyn Primus didn’t give an exact number on how many people have been interviewed, but Daniel said he has spoken with the GBI.
As for the Georgia High School Association, Executive Director Ralph Swearngin said he is waiting on a police report. He said he has been promised a full report when the investigation is finished.