By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 3/31/14
Cheltenham, a suburban Philadelphia lacrosse program that has struggled for to win games and field enough players, is now missing its head coach after he was recently assaulted by a student while serving as a conflict resolution specialist at a Philadelphia high school.
Panthers second-year coach Alphonso Stevenson has since been released from the hospital after suffering a fractured skull and a concussion and will not return this season, Cheltenham athletic director Scott Layer told TopLaxRecruits.com today. Stevenson, whose full-time job is serving as a conflict resolution specialist at John Bartram High, had brought the Panthers’ program back last year after shrinking numbers caused the 2012 season to be scrapped,
The Panthers, 0-1 this year, were scheduled to play their second game Tuesday at defending Suburban One American Conference champion Upper Dublin. Layer said a volunteer assistant has been running the team since Stevenson was injured. Layer said Cheltenham now seeks a full-time coach for the rest of the season and asks that candidates (with clearances) contact him at 215-517-3720.
Stevenson, an assistant wrestling coach at Cheltenham, had had been hired a week before the 2013 regular season began. The team went 0-15, but this year’s team had 18 players and Layer was happy that the program was not lost. Now the team is reeling again.
“It’s a very sad situation,” said Layer. “We are holding on by strings.”
Meanwhile, violence problems at Bartram have become a serious concern and were the topic of a top-of-the-front-page article today by The Inquirer, which reported a comment from a Social Studies teacher who said conditions were deplorable.
“I had a better chance in Vietnam,” said a longtime social studies teacher and Army veteran, The Inquirer reported. “Here, you lock your door and pray no one comes in.”
The Inquirer reported that Stevenson, 63, had words with a 17-year-old student, who soon knocked his clipboard to the floor and then grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him against a wall. Stevenson banged his head, hard and went down to the floor unconscious.
Pictures and videos of Stevenson laying motionless on the floor were taken by students and went viral. The student has been charged as a juvenile.