EVERGREEN, Colo. – On Friday night, the Evergreen High School football team took on the Lutheran Lions, but the game abruptly ended at halftime, and now two internal investigations are underway into allegations of unsportsmanlike conduct towards grieving players.
Just one day after learning of the passing of assistant football coach Tom Poholsky, the Evergreen football team decided to take the field with the blessing of the Poholsky family.
Poholsky's son, the starting quarterback, came out with his teammates and played.
The game at Evergreen High School against the Lutheran Lions marked the Cougar's first conference game of the season. Players admitted they missed coach Poholsky, but knew he would want them to play and were determined.
“We’re going to play our hearts out for Tom” Owen Levine, an Evergreen football player, said before the game.
The game was called at halftime. The Cougars scored 2 points and the Lions scored 46 points during the game.
It’s unclear why the game ended or if the coaches or the referee called the game, but new details are now emerging on what happened on the field.
A parent tweeted at Denver7’s Adi Guajardo:
“The Lutheran team used racial slurs to the Evergreen team’s minority players and said 'we will bury you like your dead coach' outrageous behavior."
The parent said her son heard the comments on the field and filed a complaint with the Evergreen coaches. She said she knew of several people who reached out to the Lutheran head coach to also file a complaint.
Jeffco Public Schools released a statement acknowledging complaints filed by people who claimed they witnessed concerning behavior by students on the field during Friday night’s game against Lutheran High School. The spokesperson said the accusations are being investigated and did not disclose the behavior reported.
An Evergreen football player who did not want to disclose his name confirmed hearing players in the locker room say that Lutheran players made offensive comments about former coach Poholsky and used racial slurs. Another player on the team said she heard a similar story from teammates but did not elaborate.
Lutheran High School released the following statement:
“Lutheran High School is working with Evergreen High School about statements that have been made about words exchanged between players during our football game Friday night. While we do not have corroboration around specific inappropriate exchanges, we are continuing to investigate this matter thoroughly. We are grateful for the assistance of the Evergreen High School administration in these efforts.”
Denver7 also reached out to the Colorado High School Activities Association, but they did not comment on the matter citing an ongoing internal investigation.