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State puts St. Stephen's on sports probation due to incidents involving fans

Apr 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

St. Stephen's High School sports programs have been put on probation for one academic year by the Wyoming High School Activities Association.

The probation is for the 2013-14 term. The WHSAA board of directors made the decision on Wednesday after meeting in Casper.

St. Stephen's will be required to submit an action plan to improve several issues.

"If that action plan isn't followed, then we would restrict them from participating in regional or state in that sport, depending on that situation," WHSAA commissioner Ron Laird said.

Laird said St. Stephen's officials went to Casper earlier this week for a meeting to talk about incidents during the basketball season.

"We have been working with St. Stephen's the last few years on some situations that have come up, mostly behavior-type situations," Laird said.

"With what happened at regionals that kind of brought it to the head as well."

The action from the board of directors came after a brawl that broke out during the Class 1-A West regional tournament at Bob Carey Memorial Fieldhouse in Lander.

The fight involving St. Stephen's fans came at the end of the opening round game between the Eagles and Little Snake River.

The fight had to be stopped by police, and arrests were made.

Little Snake River beat St. Stephen's in the intense game.

St. Stephen's went on to place fourth in the regional tournament to qualify for the Class 1-A state tournament in Casper.

At state, the Eagles were eliminated with an 0-2 record.

There have been other conduct issues involving the St. Stephen's program as well.

"The board asked me to collect information before our four board meetings next year, and report to them," Laird said. "We want to have them have ownership in that solution."

Laird wants the Eagles to move forward for the upcoming season.

"I think that they have been receptive in identifying that they do have some issues with some of the fans," Laird said. "They are moving full speed ahead in doing the best they can in taking care of that.

We want to be here for support of that and hope that it's successful."

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