Story at a glance:

  • A group of referees has pending criminal charges against a high school for locking them inside of a locker room.
  • The school in question is on a losing streak and had an intense exchange with officials on the field.
  • The principal and head coach of Grove City have issued apologies.

A group of high school football referees has pending criminal charges filed against Grove City High School after someone locked them inside a locker room.

On Sept. 10, Keith Dalton and his team of referees were working for the Central Ohio Football Association, specifically a match between Grove City and Central Crossing, reported NBC 4 Columbus, Ohio.


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Grove City, which was 0-4 at the time, ended up losing to Central Crossing, 19-14.

During the game, a penalty was called against Grove City. The coaching staff disagreed with the call and an assistant coach walked on the field. 

It is not clear what penalties the Grove City team were accused of, but the coach was later suspended one game for berating the officiating crew.

When the game ended, Dalton and company went to the locker room for a meeting. Little did they know that a vending machine was placed to block the referees from leaving.

“And we had to push on the door, three of us, to at least get the door wedged so we can get out,” said Dalton to WCMH NBC4. “We as a group have now filed charges against Grove City.”

The school district that Grove City is located within — South-Western City School District — has launched an investigation with local police to determine who is responsible for the prank.

As of now, the principal and head coach of Grove City have issued apologies.


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Published on Sep 21, 2021