Cardinal Newman coach Steve Walsh has altercation with a rival coach at all-star game
Sunday, January 13, 2013
by Jeff Greer
A long-simmering rivalry between two local high school football programs boiled over Saturday night when Cardinal Newman coach Steve Walsh confronted an American Heritage assistant coach at the Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast All-Star Game at John I. Leonard High.
Walsh, upset that Heritage offensive coordinator Jonathan King spoke to Newman’s star junior receiver, Travis Rudolph, in the stands during the game, sought out King at the refreshment stand. A heated argument and shoving match ensued, several witnesses said.
John I. Leonard Athletic Director Scott Siegal said he and his on-site police officers escorted the two coaches to the parking lot, where both coaches calmed down and left.
“It really wasn’t too much of a deal,” Walsh said Sunday. “I went down there and told (King) to stop talking to our kids … I wanted to take a stand. I felt like I needed to make my point.”
Walsh said King, who could not be reached Sunday, told him he confused Rudolph with graduating Palm Beach Gardens receiver Frank Brown, who was selected to the all-star game but did not play.
Witnesses said King allegedly told Rudolph he could “get him a scholarship.” If King mentioned a scholarship, it was unclear if he meant getting the highly touted receiver a scholarship to college or to American Heritage.
If King talked to a student from another school about attending American Heritage, that could be a violation of FSHAA rules.
The rivalry between Newman and Heritage, district counterparts the past few seasons, heated up in April 2011 when safety Xavier Swinton left Newman for Heritage just before spring practices.
Swinton, who has orally committed to play college football at Miami of Ohio, had been a key member of Walsh’s defense.
Palm Beach County Athletics Administrator Yetta Greene, who witnessed Saturday night’s confrontation, said she would speak with the athletic directors for Cardinal Newman and American Heritage.
Walsh said he already spoke to Cardinal Newman AD Jason Carlstrom.
“He knows a little about this stuff,” Walsh said. “He understands the frustration.”
Heritage’s AD, Stacy Sizemore, is also the Stallions’ head football coach.