Eighteen Greenbrier High boys school soccer players suspended for drinking on a team trip aren’t out of the woods yet.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Office personnel are looking into how the students obtained alcohol.
“The school is handling the students and we will continue our investigation on who supplied the contraband items,” sheriff’s Maj. Rick Whitaker said Friday.
Superintendent Charles Nagle said at a press conference Thursday that 18 of the school’s 25 varsity boys soccer players either admitted to or were implicated in illegal drinking while on a school-sponsored trip.
The incident took place when the soccer teams traveled to Jekyll Island for a tournament March 14-16. The drinking supposedly took place mainly in hotel rooms during the tournament. Two of the players, Nagle said, admitted to smoking Spice, which is synthetic marijuana.
All 18 of the players were suspended for 10 days pending a school disciplinary hearing, which should be next week. Nagle said the system would allow any of them waiving a hearing to begin attending the alternative school on Monday.
“I know there are some parents that are talking to (Principal Chris Segraves), but I do not know if any of (the suspended players) have signed a waiver as of yet,” Nagle said.
The incident came to the attention of school administrators through posts on a Twitter account, and the school safety officer started looking into related social media posts.
Many of the suspended players continued to balk at the suspensions and voice their reactions on the social networking site.
One suspended player posted to Twitter Thursday: “all these ‘anonymous’ parents need to get a (f-word) life and stop commenting on the articles. Big deal we went to an island and had fun.”
He later posted, “This is so stupid. Blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I have zero respect for greenbrier administration anymore.”
The same student also posted that he doesn’t blame anyone else for the incident.
“Its not coach warren or coach balls fault were all held accountable for our decisions.”
Another student posted, “People act like the people who did wrong at jekyll are the worst people ever, i do believe ive seen all of yall drunk before.”
The suspensions put a damper on Class AAAAA’s No. 2-ranked Wolfpack (7-0-2), who are scheduled to play host to No. 1-ranked McIntosh (12-0), Saturday at 4 p.m.
Junior varsity players are expected to move up to fill vacancies in the varsity roster.
“We’re proud of the Greenbrier soccer program and we’re playing (against McIntosh on Saturday),” Athletic Director Garrett Black said. “These kids that put on the soccer uniform Saturday and Tuesday will put it on and wear it with pride.” “
The Wolfpack can still officially clinch first place in Region 2A-AAAAA with a win in one of its next two region games against Lakeside or Grovetown.
“People can say what they want to say, but Greenbrier High School is a great school,” Black said. “We have great kids. We have great coaches, great teachers, great administrators. There are so many positives that happened every single day in our high school. And I’m proud to be a part of Greenbrier High School.”