Sequatchie County football players honor teammates banned from the game
Parents and alumni are upset over a picture that shows students holding up two jerseys before last week's high school football game between Grundy and Sequatchie Counties.
The jerseys, held by Sequatchie County players on a senior night, represent two of the five players charged last year in Grundy County with attempted aggravated rape.
Multiple sources and team rosters confirm two former Grundy County football players, charged with aggravated attempted rape, are on the field this year for Sequatchie County.
The Grundy Sheriff's Office says a decision has been made in the juvenile court cases of the former Grundy County High School football players.
The case sealed because of the ages of the students involved.
An alumna of Sequatchie County High School says she's upset that the victim, who still plays for Grundy had to watch those students be honored.
“When Grundy and Sequatchie play, the attackers were not allowed to play in the games,” said Kirsti.
Pictures, taken by parents, show students holding up the jerseys of those two absent players to honor the transferred players on a senior night.
“I think that it was disrespectful to the family and the young man that was sexually assaulted to have to see that,” said Kirsti.
“He has people who support him, and I'm glad that he still got on the field and played,” said Kirsti. “I hope he's handling everything very well.”
Sequatchie County's Head Coach Football Mark Wattenbarger said he didn't know what we were talking about when we asked about the jerseys, but tells Channel 3 he was told the players could not take the field against the teen they were accused of assaulting last year.
Director of Schools Michael Swafford told Channel 3 the picture speaks for itself.
Kirsti questions if the players should be allowed to take the field in other games.
“If the teammates move here maybe they didn't tell with their charges were against them,” said Kirsti. “They just want to move and get a fresh start.”
Sequatchie County’s Head Football Coach says all players involved in the incident will play at this Friday’s game against Upperman High School.
The two players are eligible because they were not expelled from Grundy County when criminal charges were filed, but ordered to finish last year through homebound education allowing for this year's transfer.
TSSAA rules say if a student is eligible to attend school, they are eligible to play any sport.