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Injured Warren County coach watches homecoming game from press box

Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 9:33 PM
Last updated 10:36 PM
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WARRENTON, Ga. — There was no way David Daniel was going to miss this game.

Warren County High School Coach David Daniel stands for the playing of the national anthem before the start of football action between Warren County and Washington-Wilkes. Daniel is recovering after being reportedly attacked by a Hancock Central High School player after an Oct. 14 road win.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Warren County High School Coach David Daniel stands for the playing of the national anthem before the start of football action between Warren County and Washington-Wilkes. Daniel is recovering after being reportedly attacked by a Hancock Central High School player after an Oct. 14 road win.
Wayne Staats
High School Reporter
Twitter: @WStaats8
E-mail | 706-823-3425

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.

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cytoranger 10/21/11 - 09:13 pm
Stay strong coach Daniel. We

Stay strong coach Daniel. We here in appling are praying for you, your family and the players.

Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 10/22/11 - 01:57 am
Duty called. And David

Duty called. And David answered- once again.

habersham100 10/22/11 - 02:46 am
I'm not sure this is the

I'm not sure this is the place I should put this, but is the blame for this injury to a fine coach going to be placed where it should be placed? It seems to me that we are awfully quick to blame the school for all the wrongs that are committed by these youngsters. The student was obviously not taught - at home - about fair play. Wherein does parental responsibility lie? I taught my children right and wrong before they went to school. There is pure civilized behaviour... I sent them to school to learn and be taught things which we could not teach at home. I do believe that what this young man did was - pure and simple - assault with intent to do bodily harm, and that was a felony when I was growing up. The kid needs to go to a place where he can be re-educated on proper behaviour... My grandchildren would know better than to do what he did.

God bless, Coach... I pray an angel rides on your shoulder to keep you free from further harm... Respectfully submitted...

jamesnewsome 10/22/11 - 05:10 am
To Habersham100: I agree with

To Habersham100: I agree with your comments about parental responsibility, and there's no question that lack of proper parental involvement is the major problem in our public schools today.

As far as your point about "blame the school" I could agree if this had been an isolated one or two person attack. However, we are talking about an estimated 30 football players who acted together in a pre-planned attack with helmets being used as weapons. This was not a spontaneous event.

As I understand the eye-witness accounts, this group of players left their locker room area after the game and carried out a coordinated attack. We have to ask ourselves where were their coaches? Multiple eye-witness accounts have stated that their coaches watched the attack and failed to intervene as Warren County coaches and parents were trying to stop the mayhem.

When Warren County resource officers tried to assist in stopping the fight, they were told by Hancock law enforcement to stay out of the way. Then the same Hancock officials proceeded to mace ONLY Warren County players and parents. It has been confirmed that NO Hancock players were pepper sprayed!

At the least - the very least, if these accounts are accurate we are talking about complicity by Hancock school employees. At the most we have to ask how 30 football players were allowed by their supervisors to disappear from their locker room immediately following a game. Where did the coaches think they were going in full uniform with their helmets and other object in their hands? To a prayer meeting?? I think not.

"Blame the school." Absolutely, at least until it can be proven otherwise. Have we heard one word of apology from any official in Hancock County? It is going to be very interesting to hear all the facts about this incident when the GBI finishes their investigation.

For now, WC is moving on, and I am extremely proud of the students and coaches who appear to have handled this thing with class.

habersham100 10/22/11 - 06:02 am
Thanks for you input, Mr.

Thanks for you input, Mr. Newsome... You are, quite obviously, much better informed than I. Thank you for that. I had the mistaken impression that it was a single player, and would have been aghast if I'd been aware of the whole team's involvement. As you say, where WERE the coaches and assistants when the team left the locker room, obviously hell-bent on destruction??? So, I guess the next biggest question is are these guys liable for damage that the minors did??? Can criminal charges be levied against them?

Thank you for the information I did not have, and for adding light to a picture that was muddier than I thought it was... I bid you Peace...

avidreader 10/22/11 - 07:10 am
I always thought that high

I always thought that high school football was a stage for teaching young men discipline and self-awareness and how to function as a team, working together for a common purpose. Something has gone terribly wrong. Is it too late to fix it?

curly123053 10/22/11 - 07:19 am
I think Hancock County's

I think Hancock County's football season should be suspended and all games forfeited if what is alleged here is true. This sounds like a lynch mob mentality that engulfed that team. Also Hancock's law enforcement needs to be investigated too. There is a lot wrong with this picture if all this info is accurate.

Designated Hitter
Designated Hitter 10/22/11 - 07:33 am
The real tragedy is that the

The real tragedy is that the players involved were allowed to play Friday night. Does the Hancock Coach have no respect for what is right? This whole incident is a sad day in High School football. If this incident happened anywhere else, something would have already been done. The GHSA, GBI and everyone else are too afraid to do what is right because of the demographic in Hancock County. That is a fact that I hope I am proved wrong on.

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 10/22/11 - 09:48 am
Two comments here...first,

Two comments here...first, you can blame the lawyers for keeping the mouths of the folks over in Hancock County school shut! I mean, even the superintendent is mum?? The lawyers, I'm quite sure, have told them that the less those involved say, the better. Secondly, it's VERY easy to blame the parents, right? But, you know, somewhere down there in the player's mind, there is some moral fiber that is telling the rest of the brain and body "Hey...this isn't right to hit someone in the head with this helmet, and it shouldn't be done.". At that point, the brain kicks in and ultimately decides whether to do the right thing or do the wrong thing, regardless of what the parents have long taught him. It's the person's decision. So, in that respect, whoever swung the helmet should be prosecuted, without regard to his parents teaching abilities. In fact, the acceptance of a mob mentality is also predicated on the individual decision to participate or not to participate. If my child's school were to EVER be scheduled to play in Hancock County, I either would restrict them from going, or I would go with them and provide personal security. The lack of faith and security that has resulted from this heinous incident is also partly the fault of the Hancock County School Superintendent's office and it's silence.

nothin2show4it 10/23/11 - 07:51 am
There needs to be a lot of

There needs to be a lot of resignations in Hancock Co. The school superintendent, the principal and every coach on the football team and all of the payers should be suspended for life from any school function. The Sheriff and the deputies assigned to the football teams and those around the locker room should be fired. That is the only way to end this kind of senseless attack. These kinds of things happen every Friday night somewhere in Georgia but it never get this far. Some schools actually prepare for the worst and have enough security to handle the situation. It's time to put an end to it. Those who have the ability to enforce safety and do nothing should be ashamed of themselves.

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