SEATTLE-- Friday night marked Garfield High School's first football game since their coach was suspended.
They picked sides long before they arrived. Not justfor the Garfield football team, but their coach who has been suspended.
Parents and students signed a petition in support of coach Kevin Goliday during Garfield's game against Sammamish High School.
We're fervently behind him, says parent Rainey Swan.
A week ago during a game against Lake Washington high school, Goliday appeared to question a referee's call after a fumble. Parents from the other team shot cell phone video as Goliday pulled his team off the field then got ejected. Garfield's team refused to keep playing and had to forfeit.
I've been coach and now athletic director for 40 years. I've never seen that before, says Lake Washington High Schools Athletic Director, George Crowder.
But Garfield parents say it wasn't bad sportsmanship. They say coach Goliday was trying to protect his players.
According to a number of parents, the dispute wasn't just a bad call. Parents say a ref blew a late whistle after a fumblethen refused to discuss it with the coach.
That's where kids get hurt when they don't blow the whistle, says parent Kevin Finney.
There was no reason not to come talk to the coach, says Bridget Albright, another parent. He has no history of being belligerent. He wasn't being belligerent.
An ejection resulted in at least a one game suspension. The school district is conducting its own investigation.