Archive for Saturday, December 21, 2002

Ex-football player sues coach, board

December 21, 2002

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— A former Dodge City High School football player is suing the school's coach, claiming he attacked him during a practice.

The lawsuit filed by Marcus Pierce, who graduated in May, also names the school board and several district officials. It seeks damages of more than $75,000.

Pierce claims that the officials -- Principal Jacque Feist, athletic director Tamie Preston and Supt. Gloria Davis -- tried to cover up the alleged attack by coach Mike Schartz.

The same defendants are listed in a lawsuit former assistant football coach Chris Fawcett filed in November, alleging he was retaliated against when he reported the supposed assault against Pierce. That lawsuit is still in its early stages.

Dodge City attorney Jason Hart is representing both Pierce and Fawcett.

In a written statement issued Thursday, Davis said the district would vigorously defend itself against both lawsuits.

"We do not want the school district to be an open target for future unwarranted lawsuits," she said.

The alleged attack occurred Aug. 28, 2001, when Schartz reportedly became angry with Pierce and screamed at him to leave the practice field.

Pierce started to leave, the lawsuit claims, but the coach charged at Pierce and attacked him, striking him in the throat before grabbing him by his chest pads and yelling profanities in his face.

The incident, caught on videotape, does not show any provocation on Pierce's part, Hart said.

The blow caused injuries to Pierce's throat, the lawsuit claims.

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