COVINGTON, la. -- This week saw a controversial story unfold after Covington police arrested a pair of referees at a high school football game, but it appears the controversy has been smoothed over.
Everyone involved in putting on the game says kickoff will go on as if nothing has happened in this community.
Normal for Covington High football games is to have St. Tammany Parish deputies working security on the fields, while Covington police work security in the stands, the parking lot and manage traffic.
That is the case Friday night, and it has nothing to do with the controversy that began plaguing Covington last Friday night, the arrest of two referees. That situation was at St. Paul’s Catholic School during their game against Mandeville, and it occurred after the referees got into an altercation with a Covington police officer regarding a crowd of fans too close to the field.
The officials were booked for public intimidation, and the referees association said they wouldn't work any more games if Covington police provided the security.
Thursday, however, the new police chief in Covington and the mayor asked the district attorney to drop the case, and he did. The officials were given an apology and the referees association backed off of their ultimatum.
That brings us to Friday night’s game, where everything is as usual. And parents are glad.
“The whole situation jeopardizes the children and the students,” said parent Patricia Cutrer. “Yea, you say children and you think of little kids, but they’re in high school and they’re still students. And the adults need to act like adults and let the kids play ball"
Parent Brenda Breeland said, "It needs to be just football for the kids. That’s what they’ve learned, that’s what they need to deal with. They don't need any other pressures on the field worrying about what adults are doing. That's going to get the kids hurt, especially when the adults are worrying more about what the other adults are doing."
Possible punishments for the officer involved, and even for his supervisors, are being considered by the new chief.
But Friday night, it seems everyone just wants to get back to the game and celebrate homecoming in Covington.