Security adjusted for AHSAA tournament

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's a shot for the state title.  Dozens of teams are in the Capital City, trying to dribble, pass and shoot their way to the championship.

Last year, a nasty brawl marred the regional tournament.  It began with players on the court and quickly spread to fans in the stands.

"It was something else, man. Everything happened so fast," said Walter Sellers of Montgomery.

This time around, tournament organizers are trying to make sure frustrations stay on the court.

"You always sit down and see what you can do better after any event, and it's been done in this situation," said Steve Bailey, director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.

About 60 or so police and private security officers are posted throughout the Acadome this week.

That's about the same as last year.  Now, according to authorities, they're strategically placed throughout the building.

"We did do some refining--on positioning of officers--to do a quicker response if something were to break out," explained Henry Davis, ASU's director of public safety.

Along with the usual precautions for fans, organizers also spoke with coaches, reminding them about sportsmanship.

"We try to plan for the worst case scenario, and we hope that that never occurs," Davis said.

Though authorities admit anything can happen, most everyone remains optimistic.

"It's about supporting these kids and enjoying the game--and realizing that it is just a game," said Andy Kinman of New Site.

"We need to let it be that. Let these girls and guys enjoy their moment and not try to take away from that."

Oddly enough, Carver and Valley High Schools--the two teams involved in last year's 'basketbrawl'--play each other Wednesday, on the one year anniversary of the fight.

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