Shenendehowa and Saratoga Springs administrators are investigating an altercation that took place between students from the high schools following a basketball doubleheader Wednesday night at Shenendehowa.
The altercation, footage of which found its way to social media, took place in the Shenendehowa parking lot.
“Both schools were cooperating,” Shenendehowa athletic director Chris Culnan said Friday.
A statement from Maura Manny, Saratoga’s Director of Community Outreach and Communication, said: “We were disappointed to learn about a confrontation that occurred between Saratoga Springs High School and Shenendehowa High School students after a game on January 30. The Saratoga Springs City School District has high expectations for all students and does not tolerate violence in any form. The district has worked closely with Shenendehowa administrators to investigate the situation and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken towards all students involved in accordance with the school Code of Conduct.”
When contacted Friday, Saratoga athletic director Peter Sheehan said he could not discuss the ongoing investigation.
“I am going to let the statement speak for itself,” Sheehan said.
Shenendehowa did not release a statement pertaining to the incident.
The Suburban Council basketball doubleheader was part of the annual 6th Man Games to benefit the Shenendehowa Adult Transition Program and the school’s Unified Sports Program. The Shenendehowa girls won the first game 58-56, and the Saratoga boys prevailed in the second game 48-44.
That same night, the Shenendehowa and Saratoga hockey teams played at Weibel Avenue Rink in Saratoga. Saratoga won 3-2. Culnan said no incidents were reported during or after the hockey game.
“The irony is that Pete Sheehan and I had spoken around nine o’clock, before this happened, about how the energy in both buildings was great. We had great student sections at both games. Tons of school spirit. It’s unfortunate an incident like this happened.”
Culnan would not say how many students were involved in the incident, but did indicate that its was quelled by adult parties from both schools.
For years, the schools have been athletic rivals.
“We have a great rivalry with Saratoga,” Culnan said. “We play them in many sports over the course of a year. What we have tried to do is remind kids that it’s high school sports. We always stress sportsmanship, whether it’s entering a facility, being at a game, or being in a parking lot.”
Last season, at the tail end of a boys’ basketball game between the two schools, a shoving match ensued on the court and some players left their benches. Seven players and an assistant coach received one-game suspensions. There were no incidents reported in a second game between the teams later in the season.
Shenendehowa and Saratoga are not the only Section II schools to be involved in rivalry-game altercations in recent memory.
Several years ago, altercations took place in the Schenectady High School parking lot following football and basketball games involving Albany and Schenectady students and adults. In response, those schools beefed up security for future contests and scheduled some games for earlier in the day rather than at night.