Sanderson coach arrested during Marfa-Sanderson football game
MARFA – The Sanderson Eagles football coach was arrested at Martin Field in Marfa after allegedly assaulting a Marfa Shorthorns student athlete involved in a fight between players of both teams on Friday night.
David Gage Donnell, 61, was charged with Class A misdemeanor assault, and was free on bond set by city Magistrate Chuck Stephenson, according to a Marfa Police Department probable cause for arrest.
The Marfa student athlete was transported by ambulance to Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine where he underwent a CT scan and was released to his family about 1am, a family member said, adding that the young man still suffered neck pains on Saturday.
The Eagles were ahead 36-8 in the third quarter when a fight began among players, according to the criminal complaint. “During the altercation, the head coach of the Sanderson football team started to pull players alongside the referee personnel and other coaching staff. During the incident, the head coach . . . is seen removing one of the players . . . by the front of his jersey and pulling him with enough force to cause him to go on the ground.”
Referees ended the game at that time.
Marfa police used video obtained by the Marfa camera operator in their investigation, according to the arrest probable cause. Officers “went to both team’s camera operators to see if there was any evidence of the alleged assault. The Sanderson operator had no footage, however the Marfa operator had a clear shot of the assault . . .”
“Regarding the incident that occurred at Friday’s night’s football game, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” said Marfa Superintendent Oscar Aguero. “The matter has been turned over to UIL and the proper authorities.”
Said Terrell County ISD Superintendent Amanda Magallan: “The incidents that occurred at the Sanderson v. Marfa football game on Friday, September 7th are unfortunate and embarrassing for both communities and school districts. There were actions by both teams that were unacceptable. The appropriate notifications have been made to UIL and TEA. The district will review the incident. Once all the facts are gathered, a decision regarding necessary actions will be taken. Until that time, and based on what is known now, we support our coaching staff.”
If convicted, Donnell faces up to a $4,000 fine and one year in jail, or both.