Harlem players disciplined after on-field fight with Glenbard East

Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 12:15 PM CDT
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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) - DISCLAIMER: The attached video includes physical fights that may be unsettling to some. Viewer discretion advised.

Suspensions have been handed out, but more discipline could be coming after the Harlem Huskie football team went down swinging in an ugly season-ending brawl with Glenbard East.

The brawl included some Harlem players fighting with fans and eventually trashing the visitor’s locker room.

Harlem’s 24-0 loss to Glenbard East on Friday, Oct. 27 ended a minute early when a Harlem player charged across the line of scrimmage to tackle the Glenbard East quarterback, while he was kneeling to end the game.

According to a statement by Harlem principal Jeremy Bois, Harlem players punched and shoved Glenbard East players and a few players entered the stands and engaged physically with some spectators.

“On the final play of last night’s football game, while our opponent snapped the ball in the “victory formation,” a Harlem player engaged in unsportsmanlike conduct. Several Harlem players started fighting our opponent and a few players left our sideline to join in. Harlem players hit, punched, and shoved opposing players. Additionally, a few players entered the stands and engaged physically with some spectators.

We have to do better. We will own our mistakes, and I will be as open and transparent as I ethically and legally can be. This conduct was abhorrent and contrary to everything we stand for as a community, school, and athletic program. We will take swift and appropriate action with everyone involved. We will do all we can with our opposing school to do whatever we can to right these wrongs.

High school athletics are about building the character of the student-athlete in a supportive, fun, competitive, and enriching environment. Being a Harlem Huskie is about being strong, honorable, respectful, and determined. It is not about wins and losses. When we are successful, our teams exemplify the best aspects of our school community, and, when that happens, the wins tend to follow.

We failed in our mission last night, not because of the score, but in how we represented ourselves and the Harlem community. I pledge to you that I will do all I can not only to right these wrongs, but also to ensure that all of our programs exemplify the values and character we all aspire to at Harlem High School.

I am proud to be the principal of Harlem High School. I am proud of our student-athletes. We have hundreds of young people who inspire me everyday through their hard work, dedication, competitiveness, and joy in the athletic arena and in the classroom. I love this school, and I love our students. Our behavior last night was not acceptable. It was not who we strive to be. We will do better.”

Statement sent to parents from Harlem High School principal Jeremy Bois

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said players from both teams were handed suspensions. Suspended players from Glenbard East will miss next week’s playoff game and Harlem players will be suspended from their next varsity sports game.

“There may be additional penalties beyond the one game, potentially you know we’re still working that out. The officials had shared with both teams that they were anticipating that one team would just be taking a knee. So that part is a little disappointing, you know it was a definite show of unsportsmanlike,” Anderson said.