Spearfish High School Football coach citing “special needs” kid in 103-0 blowout football loss?

Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m disturbed by this comment by the losing Spearfish HS football coach about the 103-0 blowout this week in his comments to the media:

“They faked (an extra point) at 54-0 and they threw a pass in the fourth quarter over a special needs kid,” McCarty said. “There was no backing off until late in the third.”


As noted by Pierre Coach, “As for the fourth-quarter pass, Steele was adamant that no one on his sideline was aware Spearfish had a special needs player out on defense. “We had no way to know any of that,” he explained. “I didn’t even know that he was on the team or where he was playing or what number he is or anything.”

Read it here.

Why is the coach even bringing it up as a factor? Insert any minority description for ‘special needs’ in that sentence, and the coach would probably be run out of town on a rail.

I don’t believe that kids with disabilities are required to have special uniforms that identify them as such, despite the Spearfish coach’s comments.

It was a team loss. I can’t imagine that singling out a player as “a special needs kid” as a factor in that loss is remotely proper.

21 Replies to “Spearfish High School Football coach citing “special needs” kid in 103-0 blowout football loss?”

  1. mhs

    You’re correct, totally wrong and has been since long before the snowflake era, especially from an educator.

  2. Anonymous

    It doesn’t seem to me that the coach was laying any blame for the loss on the special needs player. He was using that incident, whether Pierre knew or not, along with the faked extra point kick to show that Pierre was running up the score. My question is . . . Did Pierre play their starters for the whole 1st half, 54-0, and much into the second half. This would have been a perfect opportunity to let the 2nd and 3rd stringers get a lot of playing. 103 to 0 is running up the score. Pierre has a good team, but there is no reason for this. In my opinion the coach should be reprimanded.

    1. Dan Richardt

      The fake extra point was a bad snap. The kids did what they were taught.

      Starters were out in the second. SDHSAA is to blame for this. 0-9 shouldn’t haven’t even made the playoffs.

      1. Anonymous

        You’re right. Having every team in the classification make the playoffs is absolutely ridiculous. In an 8 team class, only 4 should be in the playoffs.

    2. Anonymous

      I just want you to know that the Pierre starters only took 24 snaps. The 2nd string took 12 snaps. 3rd string played part of the 2nd quarter and the entire 2nd half. Please educate yourself and know the facts before spouting off.

      1. Anonymous

        The starting RB scored the last touchdown before halftime. Is he considered a 3rd string player?

      2. Anonymous

        The Pierre QB was 9 of 17 passing and carried the ball 5 times. That is 22 snaps. The First string RB/WR carried the ball 8 times. How can you say the starters only played 24 snaps?
        Stout – Senior had 5 passing and 1 rushing TD
        Raske – Junior had 3 rushing TD
        Rowe – Senior had 2 rushing TD
        That is 11 TD and they scored 75 points in the 1 half. Do you really believe many 3rd string kids played in the 1st half?

  3. Troy

    Multiple comments:

    1). Starters played the first quarter, second string was worked in during the second quarter, second and third played the second half. Pierre is just this good beyond their first string and Spearfish is just this bad.

    2). Whether there should be a mercy rule in a playoff game is a question (the other is whether there are too many teams in the bracket challenge faux State Championship and really just a Conference Championship where everyone makes the playoffs making the “regular season” just a pre-season), who would ever expect the second and third strings to waste their opportunity to play and not give their all? Anyone who has played football knows that letting up is when you expose yourself to injury.

    3). Pierre deserves this ridicule. They are the one’s who led the splitting of the AA classes so they could beat up on Spearfish instead of testing their mettle against the bigger schools.

    4). Unfortunately, because of the adults desire to be bullies (see #3), these kids will never know if they are really as good as appear to be by playing more than the patsy’s they have been beating up this year.

    5). I have no idea why Class AAA tolerate this charade and don’t just leave the SD High School Athletic Association. Sioux Falls doesn’t need the SDHSAA for anything. Sioux Falls schools (plus Brandon & Harrisburg if they want) could re-affiliate with Sioux City schools and have a competitive conference in every sport. Winning that Super Conference would be much more meaningful than the current AAA State Championship. Unlike Pierre et. al., we don’t want a participation trophy. We want trophies that are hard to get. Plus, we could attend home and road games.

    1. Anonymous

      Troy makes good points that I haven’t heard before.

      Is pierre in a class they should not be in? If so what should be done about it?

    2. Anono

      I’ve never heard that this split was led by Pierre. Is that a fact? They compete against SF and other schools in wrestling, baseball, basketball,etc. I would be surprised if they led the idea of a split just for football. I, like many others, would love to see Pierre compete against the SF area schools this year, even though most are 2.5 times bigger than Pierre.

      Agree that an 0-9 team should have never been in the playoffs. Also agree that there should be a mercy rule.

      Finally, AAA should be about 12 teams to include Pierre and Brookings, and then adding Yankton and eventually SF Jefferson when they come online to make it 14. The other divisions should also have at least 12 teams and not every team should make the playoffs.

  4. Minor Nuisance

    Pure nonsense. A mediocre team had a very bad night while a powerhouse team was rolling them on all levels. It happens. Accept it. You can’t expect a third string, who never plays, to take a knee every play. There should be a mercy rule (50-0, strike up the band and sell hot dogs half price), but this game has been sensationalized. If you don’t like it, support your kids by resetting and funding your program, rather than shaming a great team for not suiting up the cheerleaders.

  5. Anonymous

    Not Pierre’s fault. As already noted, there should be a mercy rule and Spearfish should not have made the playoffs. 0-9, please. Sounds to us like a bunch of poor losers.

    On the topic the coach should not have mentioned the “special needs kid”, not an issue. How many videos can one watch of the opposite happening… Watch AMAZING Touch Down by Special Needs Athlete – Watch Unbelievable Shot Scored by Special Needs Athlete. Works both ways.

  6. duggersd

    If a special needs kid was playing, then whatever happens in a game happens. If coach does not want the kid to face the competition then the coach should not have put him in. In any cade, I imagine the kid was glad to be in the game.

  7. Meredith

    I think the message is, why is it important to single our children based on a disability?
    They’re kids playing a game. They go to school, they learn, eat lunch in the cafeteria just like everyone else. Identifying children based upon their ability to function or learn is wrong in any sense. Inclusion is what we should aim for as parents and educators. This type of behavior will only continue the outraging culture we have towards individuals with disabilities.
    At the end of the day, it’s just a game. Let kids be kids, and don’t be the asshole singling our players.

  8. Amanda Sailor

    As a mother of one of the Spartans and a supervisor in a special needs program, I must say that his actions and words are disgusting. I did not know that we had a special needs player, therefore how could the other coach or team know. Stop making excuses and blaming others. Your program is broken and it’s time to step down.

  9. Nick L Gale

    The Spearfish coach has a history of blaming the kids for his lack of coaching ability, but this is a new low. My son will only play through 8th grade, unless the AD can get a new coach.

  10. tara volesky

    Not everybody should be a winner in SD HS football. With the small population of our state, there should be no more than 4 or 5 state champions. Pierre would have won the upper division state title.