YELM, Wash - An off-field moment after Yelm High School's victory against Bellevue in the semi-finals has garnered a lot of attention, and both sides involved have different accounts of what happened.
Last week, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department posted in its weekly blotter that a football coach was walking back to his car when he was attacked from behind and punched in the head.
A lawyer for the teen allegedly involved is painting a different picture of what happened.
"Oh, there was no question he had physical contact with the Yelm coach. The Yelm coach pushed them down to the ground and was on top of them, and my client took appropriate actions to defend himself. Some people need to get hit," said Bryan Hershman, an attorney for the teen.
Hershman said the teen reacted to a boasting coach who not only got physical first, but hurled around the "n-word on more than one occasion."
The teen has not been charged and is a minor, and therefore, will remain unnamed.
Witnesses supposedly support the teen’s story-- that it was the winning coaches, not the losing team, that aggressively made their way through the post-game crowd.
Some of the Yelm coaches had been in the booth above the bleachers on the Bellevue side of the field. To get to the celebration on the field, they had to go through the Bellevue fans.
"And when they got to my client, he was being flanked from front to back by coaches. One of them pushed my client into the coach, who ultimately got hit. And that was only after a fracas started, motivated by the coach. Not my client," Hershman said.
"I’ve spoken to a number of witnesses who corroborate what my client says—and I want to back up because I represent a good, young man. He pulls good grades. He’s a moral kid. He’s got no criminal history whatsoever," Hershman continued.
The incident is still under investigation.
FOX 13 has reached out to the district who did not offer an immediate comment because the allegations were new. However, the district said the coach in question was not on staff, but a volunteer.
Deputies say they can't comment on an active investigation but confirmed to FOX 13 that they've spoken to witnesses and identified the people involved.