RALEIGH, N.C. — After a violent high school lacrosse game sent three players to the hospital with broken bones, the principals at both schools agreed that mismatched teams caused the problem.
Lacrosse, like football, is a contact sport. But spectators at Monday's junior-varsity game between Southeast Raleigh High and Wakefield High were asking: "How rough is too rough?"
"It was pretty rough," Southeast Raleigh player Matt Spivey said. "They were a lot bigger than us."
Five Southeast Raleigh players were hurt. Two had broken collarbones, one a torn rotator cuff, and another had broken ribs.
According to people at the game, Spivey and his teammates were outmatched against Wakefield.
This is Wakefield's first year fielding a team, and it is normal for any school to start out with just a JV team. All players are on it, despite their age, size or skill level.
"They were pretty much just varsity football players with big sticks," Southeast Raleigh player Gregg Bragg said. "They would just run over you."
Said Wakefield Principal Steve Takacs: "I have no doubt that if we had 11th and 12th-graders playing, we probably outweighed them."
Takacs and Southeast Raleigh Principal John Modest said they were both concerned about the imbalance in the teams.
"If there are going to be significant age and size discrepancies, that might be something we want to take a look at," Modest said.
The athletic directors from both schools said there was nothing unusual in the way the game was played, pointing out that very few penalties were called. Also, Southeast Raleigh made it a competitive game, losing only 7-4.
Nonetheless, Modest said he would like to request a meeting to see if changes need to be made.