Despite suspensions, Beechwood High School wins playoff game - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Despite suspensions, Beechwood wins playoff game

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FORT MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) -

Beechwood High School won a playoff game on Friday night despite having several players suspended.

Beechwood school officials tell FOX19 News that 15 football players have been suspended and three dismissed from the team for violating a team policy.

Officials say the players were either drinking or attending a party Saturday where others were drinking. Some parents contacted school officials right away. The players were interviewed Sunday and immediately reprimanded.

All 18 players confessed to the officials that the party happened at the home of Brian Richmond on Ashton Road in Fort Mitchell. Richmond is the City Administrator for Ludlow, Kentucky, and a former Assistant Kenton County Prosecutor.

"One parent in particular was very clear that when she was getting ready to drop her kid off and let him go into the party, that a kid came through the front door and had a beer in his hand and she immediately told her son to get back in the car," said Noel Rash, Beechwood High School head football coach.

When school officials questioned them, the players said there was alcohol both inside and outside the house. They elaborated by saying there were three cases of 30-pack Keystone Lights on the side of the house "for the taking." Rash said he was told parents were home at the time of the party. "The players alerted me that they did speak with the parents while they were at the party," said Rash.

Officials said they met with the Fort Mitchell Police for an hour Sunday and another hour and a half Monday. Police Chief Jeff Eldridge told FOX19 News that no witnesses or parents have reported the incident to the police and until that happens that an investigation won't be started. In a press release, Fort Mitchell Police said in part, "the City of Fort Mitchell Police would need an actual witness or participant to come forward to file and official complaint as the incident was not reported at the time of the event to allow the police department to witness the event. Their hand reports of alleged potential misdemeanors do not suffice as an official report of complaint. To date, no parent or student eyewitness has come forward to make a report. At the time that a parent or student should come forward, the police will officially proceed with creating the report and potentially contacting the County Attorney's office for handling."

Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson said that if the police investigate and determine that there is probable cause that the incident took place, he will prosecute the parents. "I have always had a strong policy about underage drinking and especially in situations where there are issues about adult supervision. We'll talk to the appropriate parents, children, other witnesses, school officials, the coach obviously knows a lot. So, we'll follow up from there," said Edmondson.

Richmond, through a spokesman, released the following statement Wednesday night: "We were aware that our son and several of his high-school friends recently had a gathered around a bonfire near our house, but we were not aware that any violation of team rules were occurring that night. To the extent there may have been, we trust it is being handled accordingly."

On Thursday night, he released the following statement: "We were aware that our son and several of his high-school friends recently had a gathered around a bonfire near our house, but we were not aware that any violation of team rules was occurring that night. In fact, we were just made aware yesterday that the alcohol was being hidden in a shed on our neighbors property without their knowledge. We learned a harsh life lesson that our little boy is now a teenager. Beechwood has handled the matter appropriately and we will continue to do so as well in our home."

School officials say the three players were dismissed from the team because it is the second time they've been involved in alcohol related incidents.

Beechwood won its first round playoff game 45 to 8 over Bracken County on Friday night. After the game Coach Rash told his players to keep looking ahead. "I told them let's move forward. It's behind us so let's start playing Beechwood football, championship football like we've done for years and years," said Rash.

They will advance to the second round game which will be held on its home field next Friday night. Beechwood won the Kentucky Class "A" State Championships in 1984, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2007, 2008.

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