SVSJ commentary: Some thoughts about the halftime donnybrook at the Friday Mount Si football game, and how others in the media are viewing it

We were planning on running a story this morning featuring an interview we did with Mount Si High School’s athletic director, Darren Brown, Friday at the football game regarding a pair of spring sports coaching hires, one of which we’ve already reported on here, for the Wildcats that are certain to create a lot of excitement for Mount Si sports fans. But instead, we have to spend our time this morning discussing what Brown and his boss, MSHS principal John Belcher, will be busy dealing with tomorrow. And we discuss this this morning because there appears to be a couple of people in the media in this region who seem to not understand the dynamics of what occurred during that game’s halftime, and are thus misplacing blame for why it occurred.

To review what happened, since we discussed this a bit in the game story we had for you on Saturday, this is how things transpired between Mount Si and Mount Vernon’s football teams going into that halftime incident. Reed Paradissis, the Wildcat senior kicker extraordinare who will be plying his trade as a soccer player next fall most likely at the college level (and we expect having tremendous success, too), kicked a field goal that was set to send Mount Si to the locker room down 21-20 and in prime position to perhaps take control in the second half and win the game. But, referees used the wrong hand signal to start the play, and thus ordered a retry of the kick, only after a long dialogue which ended up involving both teams’ coaches, Brown, and other administrative personnel at the game from both schools. The decision to order the re-try, which officials claimed was within the rule book for them to make (and we checked, and yes, there is a rule that deals with this in the national rule book), angered Mount Si’s coaches.

So the re-try was attempted, and Mount Vernon blocked that attempt, much to the delirious delight of the Bulldog sideline. One of their coaches, as he went past the Mount Si sideline, appeared to aim his approval of the blocked kick towards Mount Si’s sideline and some of the fans seated there behind the bench, only angering folks further. We told you in the game story about the Wildcat assistant who had to be restrained, and the reported altercation that took place between representatives from both teams afterward, which, by the way, we were told second hand but did not confirm, resulted in an arrest of one of the people involved in that reported fracas.

Well, it appears that a couple of folks in the media are suggesting on Twitter – without fully understanding what happened – are blaming…..Mount Si for the incident. Yes, Mount Si. KING-TV reporter Alex Rozier, who was working as a “multi-media journalist” at the game for the TV station, talked about it on his Twitter. Where the hell Chris Egan was we don’t know, but Rozier was there shooting his own film then probably ended up running a story about the whole thing at 11 that night we don’t know. Apparently, there was an incident between him and coach Charlie Kinnune in which there was a heated confrontation. Mount Vernon’s game video, which we reviewed, shows the coach appearing to grab Rozier’s camera from him. He mentioned this to us afterward. Rozier’s a nice guy, and we’re sorry this happened to him.

So he’s recounting the incident on his Twitter and getting response from a number of high-profile Mount Si people and several others, too. But KIRO-FM’s Gee Scott also appears on his Twitter to basing a similar view of the incident on what Rozier reported on his feed.

So, let’s preface this by noting that those who feel that Kinnune and the other Wildcat coaches were in the wrong have a fair point to make, and that has and will be dealt with internally by Mount Si officials this week. To a man, these coaches are all great, mild-mannered people, and we’ve never had any issues with any of them, and they probably look back now and wish they could have handled things much differently than they did. However, one of the pitfalls of promoting good sportsmanship, which is a virtue we preach here, along at the school and WIAA levels, is how you deal with situations like this when a coach from one team conducts himself in a manner designed to incite, and we’re going to call it that, incite a response from the other side, which this did. Is Mount Si supposed to be nice about it and just let it go? Seriously, just let it go? The response the Wildcats and their fans offered, well, that shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone, especially the Bulldogs.

The assistant who had to be restrained, well, let’s tell you a little about him. He is a longtime assistant for the team, who is also a local educator, and like your editor, A MOUNT SI GRAD. His wife also is a longtime educator in our community, and has had many roles invested in the success of local kids. Both of them are tremendously invested in the success of local kids and when they’re confronted like this in this fashion, they’re not going to just sit back and watch something happen, they’re going to stick up for the kids.

Granted, he may not have been setting a good example there, but again, we revert back to what we just said. How the hell is Mount Si supposed to respond when the coach from the other team engages in that kind of behavior?? Answer that one, folks. Answer that one.

The behavior from Mount Si was unfortunate, but the behavior from Mount Vernon was, well, we can’t even print that here, this is a family blog. MSHS officials will be lodging complaints with Mount Vernon tomorrow about this guy, and we would hope a couple things occur. One, the coach is shown the door, and secondly, when the WIAA hears about it, and a complaint will be lodged with them too over the officials, the coach needs to be suspended for a period of time for the following season for his conduct.

As for the incident between Rozier and Kinnune, frankly, Alex, our great soccer announcer Jon Pearlstein, responding to you on your Twitter feed, was right. Wasn’t helped by you not having either a noticeable KING media ID on you or better yet, the famous yellow jacket. And frankly, as cold as it was Friday night, it’s a bit surprising you weren’t wearing that anyway to keep warm. You’re a nice guy, and we’re sorry if we rubbed you the wrong way in our conversation with you, but keep these things in mind the next time you’re out doing Egan’s heavy lifting for him. We like that you acknowledge Mount Vernon’s culpability in your Twitter account, but recognize the larger dynamics at play here, please.

And Gee, we hope that there’s additional video from other sources that help to provide a little more context for your attention.

Fortunately, at the end of the day, it was our senior class that perhaps prevented this from even being a bigger embarrassment than what it already looks to be for our school and our community.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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