The football rivalry between Lockney and Floydada dates back many years. They call it the Battle of Floyd County. But on Friday night, some Lockney students took this conflict to a whole new level.
Lockney held on for a 38-36 win at home, but it was what some of their players did before the game that is getting all of the attention.
Members of the Lockney football team videotaped themselves urinating on and burning two Floydada flags.
The video was posted to YouTube on Friday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgNDfIWAcNE.
WARNING: This video shows disturbing behavior and contains a lot of strong language.
"My first reaction was, how dare they do that? That's being disrespectful," said Rosemary Segura. Her grandson is a freshman on the Floydada Varsity football team. "Rivalry is okay, but don't go to the extreme that you're going to steal our flags and then piss on them and burn them."
In the video, the students can be heard swearing and cheering as their classmates pour gasoline on the flags and ignite them.
Lockney ISD released a statement on their Facebook page Saturday:
"Much has been written over the past several hours concerning 'THE' video. The advent of social media has changed the way many things are viewed and perceived. Teams have engaged in antics, I'm sure, in the past that none of us ever knew about. Now the world sees all.
"I have known most of these young men since kindergarten, and I hate the fact their character will now be largely defined by this event. Those who wish to believe the worst will, and it will be up to this Longhorn team to show people who they really are. A reputation is much more difficult to build than to dismantle, and that's a lesson we all have to learn.
"As for me, I love and respect these kids because I know their character and hearts. As a school administrator, I am very aware of our role in helping kids learn. This will be a learning experience.
"I apologize to our friends from Floydada and elsewhere who were offended by these actions. We pledge to work harder to show the true Longhorn spirit."
Lockney Superintendent Phil Cotham said, "At this point it's a disciplinary issue and we are going to take care of it. Anyone who takes pride in their high school would be disappointed by these actions."
Segura said she is just disappointed.
"We live here, we're neighbors," she said. "Our community goes to Lockney, to the hospital and clinics, and we stand behind them when they're ahead in one of their sports, so it's just not right. They were wearing the jerseys, they're representing Lockney Independent School District, and it's not okay. If they go to that extreme, what will they do next?"
We also reached out to Floydada ISD Superintendent Gilbert Trevino for comment. He gave us this statement:
"The Floyd County Championship is a game that is filled with lots of emotion and pride from people in both communities. With that said, I am quite disturbed by the actions in the video, as are many people in our community. A friendly rivalry is good for high school sports; however, the disrespect shown in the video is extremely disappointing. The Lockney community and district are both filled with many good, respectful citizens and I want to emphasize that the poor decisions by a few young people do not represent those good citizens. We will continue our good working relationship with Lockney ISD."
Floydada high school senior Librado Chavarria is a defensive tackle and offensive lineman for the football team. He said he is also disappointed in the player's actions.
"I was just disgusted by it," he said. "Our coach has told us act right, do right and be right since the first day he's been here, and we've lived up to those morals. There's nothing we can do about it now, it's part of the past and the game's over with."
Both Segura and Chavarria think UIL should be shown the video and determine punishment for the students.
We also spoke with Lockney residents about the video. No one wanted to go on camera, but one woman said, "We will always support our boys, but we will not support some of their actions."
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