UGA recruit Nick Marshall allegedly cheered by opposing fans after injury, more on football brawl

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When you win the state championship in football, you put a big target on your back for the following season.

Wilcox County’s rapid rise to one of the Georgia’s most successful Class A football programs likely contributed to intense emotions leading up the post-scrimmage brawl with Fitzgerald last week. The GHSA handed down penalties for schools with $250 fines, a ban from any scrimmages before the 2011 season, and “Severe Warning Status” probation for the remainder of this season. [Click here for the rest of the story]

Here are some of the statements by Wilcox County principal Chad Davis to the GHSA about the confrontation, obtained through an FOI request:

  • “When our team arrived … four Fitzgerald players were staring our players down by the their field.”
  • “When our quarterback, Nick Marshall, was tackled on one play, his ankle was twisted by one of the Fitzgerald’s players. Many of the Fitzgerald fans cheered because Nick had been injured. There was a good deal of trash talk between the two teams.” [Note: Marshall was selected for the AJC Super 11 and has committed to UGA]
  • “The first play of [Fitzgerald's offensive series with two minutes left in the third quarter] was a 65-yard touchdown pass. This really ticked our coach off. Why they felt the need to run up the score on us when they already had us by three touchdowns and a safety I do not know. Coach [Mark Ledford] threw his towel onto the field in disgust. Some of their coaches were cheering and twisting their towels over their head. When the third quarter ended, their defensive players stood in the middle of the field facing our fans and waved their hands as to tell us we could not stop them.”
  • “We were told by our players that a Fitzgerald player hit one of our players in the [groin] area. Something set off a fight between both teams.”
  • “This game had a lot of hype leading up to it. Both communities talked up this game for the past few months. The setting was like a playoff atmosphere instead of a scrimmage. Fitzgerald played a homemade rap song before the game describing how they were going to beat Wilcox. A few cars of Wilcox fans were painted in the parking lot.”
  • AJC Super 11 member Nick Marshall has committed to UGA (AJC)

    AJC Super 11 member Nick Marshall has committed to UGA. He will be the primary target of every defense attempting to stop Wilcox County's high-powered offense this season (AJC)

Fitzgerald principal Randy Garrett also submitted a written statement to the GHSA. He talked about words were exchanged between the two head coaches after the scrimmage about the “issue of the perceived running up the score.” Ledford was said to be using extreme profanity, while Fitzgerald coach Robby Pruitt responded with an obscene word. Here are other parts of the statement:

  • “Some FHS coaches were involved in separating opposing players. In doing so, two of them were struck by Wilcox County players. One, Coach Priutt was struck with a helmet in the back.”
  • “An FHS player reported that he had his helmet ripped off and fell to the ground where another Wilcox player kicked and stomped on him. Another Wilcox player circled the crowd sucker punching anyone he could and then retreating. He did this at least twice.”
  • “Again, I will say that no evidence was presented that an FHS player was the aggressor. Some players were heard to use some words that were inappropriate. They were dealt with accordingly. Coach Pruitt used a poor choice of words and he also was dealt with in an appropriate manner.”
  • Fitzgerald concerns included “Comments attributed to Coach Ledford in the Cordele Dispatch that have been proven false regarding vandalism of autos from Wilcox County as the game.”
  • Fitzgerald has also changed post-game procedures, such as “No one will be allowed on the field after the game. This include parents. FHS will move its traditional post-game prayer with parents and fans to the fieldhouse courtyard only after all players have left the playing field.”

Did you hear about the controversial ending to the McEachern-Peachtree Ridge game? Click here

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43 comments Add your comment

Delbert D.

August 22nd, 2010
9:10 pm

“When our quarterback, Nick Marshall, was tackled on one play, his ankle was twisted by one of the Fitzgerald’s players.”

I’ll bet the perp learned that from watching TV last November.


August 22nd, 2010
9:21 pm

Butthurt Tech fans STILL using that as an excuse… meanwhile our best player was watching the entire game from the sidelines. Face it, ya boy big bad CPJ’s best team couldn’t beat the worst team of the Mark Richt era, at home. Deal with it.


August 22nd, 2010
9:33 pm

But his worst team so far beat uga’s best so far talent wise speaking in athens. Another dumb ignorant comment by a uga inbred.

what is your problem

August 22nd, 2010
9:41 pm

To LMAO – You are such a jerk and A-hole with your stupid quote “Face it, ya boy big bad CPJ’s best team couldn’t beat the worst team of the Mark Richt era, at home.” Well – what does that say about your all mighty dawgs when Tech whipped your puppies in the year that CMR had his BEST UGA team – one that was SUPPOSED to be #1??? Your just another DA dawg fan who can’t see past his own crap.

Rodney King

August 22nd, 2010
9:57 pm

Can’t we all just get along !!!


August 22nd, 2010
10:01 pm

You NERDS really are unbelievable. Did you get rings with the score etched on them like the players did? I imagine you did since Tech beating UGA is a ONCE IN A DECADE thing. You needed an epic 3rd quarter meltdown by UGA to win the one you did by 3 points. Unfortunately for nerd nation, the UGA players now understand that you can’t take any team for granted, even one you OWN like UGA owns Tek.

Fed Up

August 22nd, 2010
10:06 pm

Here is another example of uneducated, unruly THUGS!!! I wonder which race was fighting??? Only thing they know is violence.

George Kennedy

August 22nd, 2010
10:09 pm

This was a disgrace to watch. I know our AD Donnie Clack hated to see this. we are better than this…or maybe we aren’t. And just think, I coach most of these guys in basketball.


August 22nd, 2010
10:21 pm

Neither Mr.Marshall nor any other Wilcox player were cheered because they were hurt. I know. I was there. We cheered when he got up after he was hurt. In over fifty years of attending Fitzgerald games at home and away I have never heard a Fitzgerald crowd cheer a player being hurt or injured. It is just the opposite. As I stated about Mr. Marshall,we have always cheered when a player get up after hurt or has to be carried off. I resent that statement. If that gentleman was there he knows that statement is not true.

Rodney Dangerfield

August 22nd, 2010
10:56 pm

At least no one was humped by George Foster!

Delbert D.

August 22nd, 2010
11:03 pm

That was not posted as an excuse, rather an example. Excuses are a sign of weakness, like your response.

Dawgtards ruin this state

August 22nd, 2010
11:15 pm

another perfect fit for thUGA

Fools, all of you

August 22nd, 2010
11:19 pm

This article had NOTHING to do with the UGA/GT “who’s better” pissing match. But you fools instantly turn it into one.

You don’t even argue about the teams, you argue about the fans and off-field issues with the teams and acedemic institutions.

Take your childish banter to MySpace, where you may find people more your age to pointlessly argue with. Leave the AJC blogs to SPORTS fans.

Thank you.


August 22nd, 2010
11:42 pm

Enough on these to teams…Nothing but BS anyway and good old Ralph is going to do nothing. Both Teams need to shut up and get ready for rest of season.

GHSA need to get tough!


August 22nd, 2010
11:44 pm

Where are coaches with CLASS like Wooden? Players are classless for fighting before a game, but that is where the culture likes to live now. In The Gutter! High School basketball games turn into brawls now too. Dance teams act like Strippers.
We need more coaches to read John Wooden’s book and learn something besides just X’s & O’s.

fan at game from Valdosta

August 22nd, 2010
11:51 pm

Know one cheered when Qb was hurt. Thats a flat out lie!

Fitzgerald Alumni

August 23rd, 2010
12:33 am

As an Alumni of Fitzgerald I am disheartened at my community, school, and football team. Please, Fitzgerald fans, admit that Coach Pruitt has generated a team that resembles thugs who are out-of-control. It is sad because Coach Pruitt can produce a winning team, but he has allowed this program to become an arrogant group of young men who have absolutely no respect for winning with class. It is time that we as fans in Fitzgerald stop turning our heads at the lack of discipline, profanity, and anarchy that our Coach has produced. Instead of paying Coach Pruitt more than many of our best teachers and adminstrators, he should be fined a substantial amount of income to make a statement that we will no longer tolerate the embarrasement we have become across the state of GA. I am afraid that the growing number of people in Fitzgerald who will not tolerate this type of behaviour from the team and poor leadership from Coach Pruitt is a sign that this is the beginning of the end of Pruitt’s time. What was, a great institution, is no more.


August 23rd, 2010
5:05 am

Supposedly, it was a scrimmage game. Obviously not considering what happened at the game. If people are worried about “running” up the score in scrimmage game, turn off the scoreboard except the time clock and downs. Both teams and fans are to blame for this one. Grow up and stop being a part of the rumble in the jungle.


August 23rd, 2010
7:23 am

When has Fitzgerald ever won anything? I suggest they focus their attention on the REAL games and quite worrying about who wins a dadgum scrimmage. That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Additionally, the Wilcox coaches and fans better get ready, because the target is squarely on their back this year. There is no use in whining about getting the score run up, because it is your job to STOP THE OTHER TEAM. Every team you face this year is going to try to whip you and then rub your nose in it. Quit whining and play harder.


August 23rd, 2010
7:41 am

The coaches from both schools have failed on living with class. All Tech nerds that try to profit from a terrible story such as this show that they indeed lack class.

Get a life, Tech nerds.

Some Sense

August 23rd, 2010
7:52 am

Are you sure some of the Lowndes players didn’t come up for this one???


August 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

Why did I just waste my time reading this??? By the way, watch the game again Techies from when Nesbitt’s ankle was “twisted”. No one grabbed his ankle and twisted. He was rolled up on and the pile moved him backwards. It sucks and probably hurt like crazy, but it happens in football. People who have placed know this…


August 23rd, 2010
9:51 am

Didn’t Tech offer Nick Marshall a scholarship? If he had taken it, the nerds would not be calling him a thug.

It means

August 23rd, 2010
9:54 am

perfect firt for thuga. MDG – playing with yourself doesn’t count douche.

Hey, but King and Ealey are going to be AWESOME this year right? Forget the fact that through 9 games they werent averaging 100 yds/gm on the ground last year. Oh yeah, and that every RB tandem in the SEC gained more yards than those two besides VANDY and USCe. 9/12 in rushing last year pups. But this year they will be awesome right? Just b/c they ran through a pathetic GT and TA&M defense, doesn’t mean they will run against anyone with half a defense this year. Idiots


August 23rd, 2010
10:22 am

Clearly, the Wilcox program is out of control. The things that they outlined in their statement happen at just about every HS game. You never complain publicly about “running up the score.” File it away and exact revenge on the field later. Complaining about it is just dumb. Stare downs happen between players at every game. You have to have discipline and Wilcox has shown time after time that they lack it, from the top to the bottom.


August 23rd, 2010
11:38 am

Some Sense, Get some sense. One bad egg shows his lack of maturity and you people wannna label a program. I grew up in Valdosta, played at Lowndes and have watched this program develop into one of the finest on the state. Sportsmanship is alive and well in Winnersville/Titletown. Metro Atl fans cannot stand 1AAAAA because we are ALWAYS there in the end. Besides, the event you refer to took place two years ago. Move on man!


August 23rd, 2010
12:31 pm



August 23rd, 2010
1:05 pm

It’s amazing how the rednecks in south georgia started all of this, but somehow everything got blamed on nick marshall. Interesting…..


August 23rd, 2010
2:45 pm

SGD, You best watch what you’re saying. They do more with less than our wonderful program is able to accomplish. Besides, they are getting alot more 4 and 5 stars looking at them, now, which never looked before. I hope our loveable swan diving coach can win this year, but I have my doubts. Just wait til the end of the year before you bad mouth me, and see if I’m not right.

1980 was so long ago

August 23rd, 2010
7:35 pm

Hey puppies, come on down to North Avenue and check out the updated version of a national championship trophy.

1 Cane Fan

August 23rd, 2010
10:43 pm

First, Nick Marshall did not get his ankle twisted, a player fell on it. Second, noone cheered his being hurt. Go look at the FHS film. It is all clearly visible and audible. We film from two angles. Believe what you want and say what you want, but you are reading the truth and you know it.You have a very good team in Wilcox and you are worrying about the wrong things. We have a very good team in Fitzgerald and are ready to move forward. Fitzgerald is a classy program. We have our problems like everyone but for the most part it is a great place. The bashers like “Fitzgerald Alumni” aren’t really canes fans. Go Canes!

cat doc

August 24th, 2010
7:01 am

Bad coaching and parenting of these football players


August 24th, 2010
8:38 am

Why are we not suprised…typical class, no respect, and oh..NO RINGS!!!

wolfbait 67

August 24th, 2010
11:32 am

Buford played Fitzgerald in the semi-final in 2009 and it was our toughest game all year….FHS just needs to learn a little sportsmanship…I listened to the game on the radio and could tell that the city and the announcers love their football team like Buford loves their team…….it is supposed to be that way (do you think Munson would have been around as long as he was if it was not for the way he put himself in the game…good luck ‘canes and hopefully we will see you later in the season at our stadium

Caleb Powell

August 24th, 2010
1:19 pm

Mr. Davis,

I was on the sideline and we we’re not cheering that the young man got hurt, but that he got up on his own. It’s called sportsmanship! I dont ever like seeing any player getting hurt and maybe Mr. Davis you should take to your coach who keep putting the young man back in the game. I think I remember three times he went down with some type of leg problem and yet the coach keep sending him out! That’s not my idea of looking out for the safety of your players!


August 24th, 2010
3:48 pm

Fed Up, you are such a racist humanbeing. Calling kids thugs and then asking what race they are. Let me remind you. No matter what race these kids are there are going to be brawls on the football field. Get off your HIGH HORSE and love all Gods children. Can you do that?

Fitzgerald Alumni

August 24th, 2010
5:05 pm

1 Cane Fan wrote, “The bashers like “Fitzgerald Alumni” aren’t really canes fans. Go Canes!” You have proved my point. We have a winning program guaging by wins and losses, but not based on sportsmanship. A true fan is honest enough to admit that the atmosphere and behavior of the program is beyond reproach. Anyone who in the know should admit that there are real problems and a lot of activities that are being overlooked that would not be tolerated if the team wasn’t winning 10 games/season. And in times of economical difficulties why are we paying a coach way more that our top teachers and administrators. That expresses to all of us what is important, no matter the “cost.”

Wilcox County Alumni '92

August 24th, 2010
5:11 pm

Stop the bloodclot crying people!! Nick Marshall will be just fine and so will the rest of the Mighty Wilcox County Patriots!!Look over Chad Davis’s comments….He never played Football!! We stared down many opponents when I played…that’s the “Intemidation Factor” like it or hate it..that’s Football!!

Wilcox County Alumni '92

August 24th, 2010
5:14 pm

George Kennedy,
You don’t coach these guy’s…you just sit there on the sideline…you can’t Coach!!! Wesleyan showed everyone that!! So hush and watch some football!!!

Wilcox County Alumni '92

August 24th, 2010
5:47 pm

Mommy…the Big Black Guy’s are staring at us!! Mommy….they’re scoring too much!! Mommy…they’re playing too ruff!!! Mommy…tell Mark, George, Donnie and Chad to…”Shut Da Hell Up” and Let these young men play football…this ain’t Two Hand Touch…They faced the same crap last year!! Except Da “Bullseye”…now kick “Butt”..Let’s Roll Big Blue!!!

1 Cane Fan

August 24th, 2010
9:53 pm

So Fitzgerald Alumni, who have you voiced your concerns with, the head coach, athletic director, principal, or superintindent? Have you researched what you are talking about? Do you have your facts correct and in order? If you can not answer YES emphatically to all of these questions then you are not deserving of being acknowledged. Go Canes!

Dawg H8R

August 25th, 2010
4:07 pm

If this kid was going to GT, this “innocent Nick Marshall” would be no better than Obama!
Football is a tough sport.Deal with it.


August 27th, 2010
2:39 pm

Severe Warning Status-is this the same as double secret probation?