The defending D.C. high school football champions will be without 17 players for the Turkey Bowl Thursday morning following a brawl during the semifinals.
As the H.D. Woodson High School Warriors 48-0 trouncing of Eastern High School ended earlier this month, the teams began fighting.
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson announced one-game suspensions for 18 Woodson and nine Eastern players.
After nine appeals, the suspensions were upheld Wednesday for all but one of the Woodson players.
One of the suspended Woodson players admitted to News4 he made a mistake in fighting but insisted the Eastern players were trying to provoke the Woodson players.
A parent of a Woodson player who was at the game agreed, saying Eastern provoked fighting with late hits and unnecessary roughness.
Woodson is a dynasty in D.C. high school football, having won four straight titles and 15 times overall. They’ve played in more Turkey Bowls than any other team since the Thanksgiving Day tradition began in 1955.