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CHSAA suspends two Pueblo South High School football coaches following Cannon Game fight

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Disciplinary measures have been handed down by the Colorado Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to some players and coaches following Friday night's fight between Pueblo South High School and Pueblo East High School during the Cannon Game.

With just a minute left in the first half, the fight started at Dutch Clark Stadium in Pueblo when a Pueblo South player was tackled out of bounds by an East player near the South sideline.

Following the altercation, the game was terminated. With the score being 23-0, East was declared the winner by the referees.

The brawl ignited near the Pueblo South bench of Friday's Cannon Game following a tackle made out of bounds.

Pueblo police said they have reviewed all of the video evidence of the incident that is available to them. Based on those videos, no coaches will be charged in connection with the incident. 

However, if additional video evidence surfaces, Cpt. Dustin Taylor with the Pueblo Police Department says charges could potentially be filed.

D60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso provided a statement on social media on Sunday in response to Friday's brawl where she alludes to potential disciplinary actions for staff and student-athletes.

Dear D60 Community and Supporters

In District 60, we have always taken pride in the healthy and enriching competition that has defined our athletes, coaches and spectator supporters.

Unfortunately, that standard was not met during Friday's Cannon Game.

The actions that unfolded shortly before halftime were undeniably regrettable, and we are sorry this happened during what has traditionally been a spirited but respectful matchup. The Cannon Game is a special inner-district rivalry our community has enjoyed for nearly half of a century now. Although it is a rivalry, at no time should sportsmanship or respect be put aside in the heat of the moment.

D60 is conducting a thorough investigation of this matter and if appropriate, we will move forward with disciplinary action of staff and students involved.

We must keep in mind that our athletes are still maturing teenagers, and our focus remains on supporting them and our teams. It is only through continued mutual trust and respect that rivalry games will be able to continue.

The support and encouragement the community continually offers our athletic and extracurricular programs has always been extraordinary, and we are hopeful that this isolated and rare incident will do nothing to tarnish that partnership.

Our children deserve and need your continued support.

Pueblo School District 60 Superintendent Charlotte Macaluso

The message was also sent out to staff in D60.

A spokesperson for Pueblo School District 60 told 13 Investigates confirmed Monday afternoon that CHSAA issued a ruling that included disciplinary actions/game suspensions for students from both schools.

Additionally, two volunteer coaches from South have been suspended, pending further disciplinary actions.

According to D60, the evaluation of the situation is ongoing and there is a possibility of suspensions from both schools.

D60 clarified that while East won, no team was disqualified from the game. A spokesperson for the district said, "The game was halted by officials due to safety concerns for participants and workers."

A district spokesperson told 13 Investigates:

With the CHSAA officials accurately noting that the incident is a “teaching and learning opportunity,” the District commends those coaches and athletes who acted in a responsible manner, working to de-escalate a situation that evolved from a spirited and intense rivalry contest.

We are confident in the fact that we will move forward from this unfortunate incident as we work to restore the highest level of sportsmanship and mutual respect that honors the tradition our community has celebrated for more than four decades.  

Pueblo District 60

Prior to CHSAA's ruling, the sports organization released the following statement to 13 Investigates about the Cannon Game brawl:

“The CHSAA office was notified Friday evening of the physical altercation that occurred between Pueblo East and Pueblo South resulting in the game being terminated. The CHSAA staff continues to evaluate the information available and is working with both schools, the school district and the game officials to address this regrettable situation. Unsportsmanlike behavior, including fighting and taunting, has absolutely no place in high school athletics and those behaviors will be addressed with immediate and stern consequences. As adult stakeholders in high school sport, we all have a crucial responsibility to hold ourselves and our student-athletes to the highest of standards.”

Colorado High School Activities Association
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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

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