Local News

Principal: Vicious Pine Forest soccer hit is a 'teachable moment'

Posted April 14, 2016 6:23 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2016 8:23 a.m. EDT

— The video of a vicious hit by a Cumberland County high school soccer goalie has gone viral, but school leaders said Thursday, they hope the incident can be a learning experience.

On April 7, the Pine Forest High School girls soccer team traveled to play the Patriots of Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines.

At the end of the game, as Pine Forest High School was about to lose its first game of the season, YouTube video shows Pine Forest goalkeeper, Cassie Sturtz, leap off her feet and tackle Pinecrest player Riley Barrett.

Barrett lay on the field for a moment before being able to walk off on her own.

Bob Christina, principal of Pinecrest, said Barrett is now back at school.

"She's not missing any school, maybe missing some games, but not missing nay school," he said.

School officials said Barrett suffered a concussion as a result of the collision.

Sturtz was suspended for two games, which is NCHSAA standard for an athlete ejected from play. The school is disciplining Sturtz further, though Principal David Culbreth declined to provide WRAL additional details.

Christina said Sturtz is working with her parents and the school to issue an apology to Barrett.

"And doing it in a way that's going to teach good sportsmanship and show remorse as well, so it is going in that direction," Christina said.

Posts on social media have called for Sturtz, a junior, to be banned from ever playing soccer again in high school.

But both principals say they see this as a learning experience.

"So, for young people, it is definitely not easy," Christina said. "You see yourself in professional sports. We have seen it in NFL playoffs, we have seen people lose their cool. It can happen at any level and it is a good lesson to learn to keep yourself in check."

Culbreth said he thought the game was rough and emotionally charged. He said Sturtz never showed poor sportsmanship before, and she will not be kicked off the soccer team.

"We will put it behind us," Culbreth said. "That is what we do with kids. This is something that has not happened before with this student. This is a teachable moment."

Culbreth said Sturtz is "a good kid."