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PNG-Beaumont sports events will not be contested on neutral ground

The Port Neches-Groves ISD won’t be scrambling with Beaumont high schools to find a neutral place for sporting events involving both districts.
PNG Superintendent Rodney Cavness on Friday said that he and Beaumont ISD Superintendent John Frossard agreed to keep the sites between their high schools where they are originally scheduled. The BISD reportedly authorized Frossard to find a neutral site for upcoming contests against PNG.
The development came amid concerns of heated unsportsmanlike conduct involving games pitting Beaumont’s high schools against PNG. Central and Ozen high schools compete with PNG in District 22-5A, which also includes Port Arthur Memorial and Nederland.
Cavness said the concerns were first raised “a couple of years ago” during an incident in a soccer match.
“We had another incident this year, but all that was handled,” Cavness said. “Beaumont, along with the rest of the district [22-5A] executive committee, came to an agreement” to not alter the upcoming sports schedules for PNG vs. Beaumont teams.
On Feb. 16, a 3-1 victory for the PNG boys soccer team against Central in Port Neches was stopped with about 8 minutes remaining. Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine told The News in a Feb. 18 article a Central player kicked a referee in the shin during the game, and that the Central coach argued with a referee over a penalty kick and soon given a red card, meaning ejection from the game.
“A [Central] player then kicked a ref in the shin before fans on the opposing side started to climb over the fence,” Lemoine told The News at the time.
It was not immediately known whether the player in question was ever charged.
A fan told The News on Feb. 2 that Port Neches police officer forbade boys soccer teams from PNG and Goose Creek Memorial to shake hands after their game, which ended in a 2-2 tie, became heated.
Cavness added he never considered moving games to a neutral site, which was seen as a way to reduce the effect of one’s home-field advantage on the intensity of competition.
“I didn’t think that was a solution to everything,” he said. “John and I have a good relationship. I had a great talk with him Monday evening. Everything is good. We’re moving forward.”
The Beaumont ISD offices were closed Friday. A phone number for Frossard was not immediately available.
PNG athletic director and high school head football coach Brandon Faircloth, who said he did not participate in the meetings between the school districts, said his team has never had an unsportsmanlike incident with any Beaumont teams.
“We’ve never had anything but great things with Beaumont ISD, as far as football is concerned,” said Faircloth, going into his eighth year at PNG. “We’ve had great football games and great battles with them. Our kids and their kids have always done a good job competing and shaking hands when the game was over. I’ve had nothing but pleasant, fun competitive games with Beaumont ISD ever since I’ve been here. … Our teams have never once even [been called for] a personal foul. It’s always been a fun game and a very competitive game.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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