A Platte County High School football player allegedly crossed the line and assaulted a Winnetonka player during an October game.
By Yael T. Abouhalkah
The Kansas City Star
The charges filed Tuesday against a 17-year-old player should help stoke a discussion about just what constitutes assault in high school football in the Kansas City area.
Be honest, football fans: You see a variation of what is assumed to be legal assaults in every game locally.
Players lowering their heads and hitting opponents with their helmets.
Players smashing others into the ground.
Players hitting, clawing, poking and otherwise physically attacking and intimidating their opponents.
Yes, in the Platte County case, prosecutor Eric Zahnd says something happened outside the lines of the football field, something that doesnt occur often: The accused swung a helmet at the victim and injured him. The victim reportedly has not returned to school.
The prosecutors release indicates that a game official and Winnetonka school official thought the incident was intentional.
Yet most every violent play in a football game is intentional. Thats how kids are taught to play the game.
This incident could do a lot of good if it helps spur more parents to wonder why they are allowing their sons to be involved in such a violent sport.
Given the rising concern about concussions, this incident also should make more players, parents, coaches and school officials redouble their efforts to reduce violence or basically legal assaults in high school football.