Eight members of the Walker Valley High School baseball team and another student are suspended from school, and kicked off the team after a field trip drinking incident.
School officials credit the coaches for taking quick action after finding out the students drank wine and beer during a recent trip to South Carolina.
The suspensions come three months after a widely publicized scandal involving Ooltewah High basketball players. Their holiday trip to Gatlinburg resulted in tighter supervision and stricter rules, now strictly enforced by coaches throughout the region.
Walker Valley principal Nat Akiona praised his coaches for a quick, firm reaction to rule infractions, which could have given his school a black eye had the situation been covered up or drawn out.
Since the Ooltewah scandal, superintendents and principals have reminded those in charge of field trips to monitor students closely, and follow proper procedures when rule violations are discovered.
By dismissing the players from the team, school officials admit the school's baseball program will be adversely affected from a competitive standpoint, but the action that could strengthen the team in the long run.