High school football coach in limbo after brawl between Montgomery Co. teams

One of the football coaches on the field during a Sept. 16 on-field melee at a Montgomery County, Maryland, high school game says he’s in limbo after the fight, which prompted strict new safety rules for spectators.

Travis Hawkins, head coach of Northwest High School, was placed on a 24-day suspension while the county school system investigated what happened leading up to and during the brawl with Gaithersburg High School.

“I want to apologize to my school, I want to apologize to my community, I want to apologize to the [administration],” Hawkins told NBC Washington.

However, he said he couldn’t talk about the misdemeanor assault charge filed against him and his assistant coach by the athletic director of Gaithersburg High.

“My kids know I don’t condone violence,” said Hawkins. “I don’t condone myself with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.”

Since the charges were filed through citizen complaints, Montgomery County prosecutors are still deciding whether they expect to move forward on the charges.

Hawkins is due in court Nov. 7.

“I felt like my name needed to be cleared,” said Hawkins. “It’s been a long time with me just sitting around waiting, on answers I felt were never going to come.”

The school system told NBC Washington an update is expected later this week on its investigation into the on-field fight.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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