The Damien football coach was placed on suspension following allegations of assault of two players from rival school.
On Friday, two private high schools, Bishop Amat and Damien played a football game with high tensions. As seen in the game, there were many hard hits between the two aggressive schools. The game ended 35-7 with Bishop Amat winning, and that’s when things escalated.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that Bishop Amat head coach, Steve Hagerty, refused to shake Damien head coach Matt Bechtel’s hand. Bechtel appeared to confront Hagerty while players were shaking hands.
While the game was already full of tension, it was rumored by those who attended the game that one player made a sexual statement to Bechtel about his daughter. From there, a fight broke out. Players from both teams began pushing each other while some tried to break it up.
On Saturday, a police report was made after one of Bishop Amat’s players, Aiden Ramos, told the police he was allegedly grabbed by his shoulder pads and had his helmet ripped off by Bechtel along with another coach. Jesse Ramos, Aiden’s father, stated that the altercation left his son with a bruise under his left eye.
Another report was made by a Bishop Amat player, who is choosing to stay anonymous with the La Verne Police Department.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a statement that was sent to parents of the school. They have started an internal investigation between the two schools and that the person named in the police report, Matt Betchel, has been placed on leave.
On Monday, James Stewart, the defensive coordinator for Damien High school, sent an email to parents with players on the team stating that he will take over as interim head following Bechtel’s suspension.
Damien’s next game is Friday 9/30 against Upland High School, while Bishop Amat’s next game is scheduled for Friday 10/7 against Serra High School.