CARLISLE, Iowa — A 17-year-old Carlisle High School basketball player is facing a felony charge of Willful Injury — Causing Serious Injury after punching a Nevada player following a game Tuesday night.
The Carlisle student "threw an unwarranted punch" at the Nevada student's stomach and then punched him in the face as the two teams were shaking hands after the game, according to a criminal complaint. It said the victim received a "serious enough concussion to render him unconscious" and an injury to his mouth which resulted in the need for four stitches.
"It was a very unfortunate and disturbing situation," said Nevada Community School District Superintendent Steve Gray. "Fortunately, it sounds like our student-athlete is going to be alright."
The suspect was taken into custody but has since been released on bond.
Carlisle Community School District Superintendent Bryce Amos said the district is unable to release video of the incident because it is part of a student record for a disciplinary investigation.
"Violent conduct has no place in Iowa high school activities," said a spokesperson for the Iowa High School Athletic Association. "IHSAA administrators are working with both schools to ensure appropriate guidelines are followed for violent behaviors from student-athletes."
Tuesday was the opening night of the boys' basketball season.
"What is the reason we are having kids start at young ages? Do we want them to have a good time or are we trying to push them through the major leagues as fast as possible?" said Alex Pollock, a coach at Aplington-Parkersburg High School. "I think we need to figure that out as adults and as parents."
But there can also be an immense amount of pressure and attention that those in high school and younger have to face.
"A lot of pressure on these kids. And it can be from multiple different sources: it can be from themselves, it can be from parents, it can be from coaches, friends, peer pressure, whatever it might be," said Blake Jensen with All Iowa Attack. "There's a lot of pressure on these kids, they like to win, they like to do will and on the opposite side not lose and not be embarrassed."
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