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West Bloomfield Football Assistant Fired After Incident in Rochester

Patch reviewed video from Friday's West Bloomfield/Stoney Creek football game, which ended with a player being arrested for assault and battery.

A former West Bloomfield High School varsity football assistant coach said he was fired from the team by Lakers head coach Ron Bellamy after an incident Friday at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester that resulted in a player being arrested on the field and suspended from school.

Lakers athletic director Pat Watson confirmed Tuesday that Phil Sacha, a defensive assistant coach, was fired from the team; Watson would not comment why. Sacha, a 25-year-old Commerce resident, took to Facebook on Sunday to explain that Bellamy, a former NFL player, fired him as a result of disagreeing opinions.

"West Bloomfield players, I wish you best of luck the rest or the season, but Coach Bellamy has decided to let me go from my coaching position, because I don't agree with a lot of what has happened this season," Sacha wrote on his Facebook page, which is public.

"Thanks again guys, sorry a bunch of know nothing adults had to ruin your senior season."

Patch sent a private message to Sacha; it was not immediately returned.

Sacha continued to explain his position in the comments portion of the post during a back-and-forth conversation with students, replying to one: "check out our article in the Oakland Press about how one of our players punched a 67 yr old man after the game. Would you support that? Cuz I don't."

According to a statement released Monday by the West Bloomfield School District signed by Superintendent Gerald Hill, the student was suspended in accordance with consequences of violating district policy after the incident.

"This incident involved the actions of one student only and not the team. The remainder of the West Bloomfield Lakers football team behaved appropriately," according to the statement.

Capt. Michael Johnson, commander of the Rochester Hills substation for the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, said that the student, 16, is a player on the football team who approached a Stoney Creek assistant coach after the game was over and punched the coach in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.

The coach was identified by Rochester Community Schools as "Buzz" Zube, the father of varsity head coach Brad Zube, who was helping to coach the varsity Cougars during the 50-28 Homecoming night win over its Oakland Activities Association Red division rivals.

Johnson continued that the student, whom Patch has not named, was released to his parents pending assault and battery charges in Oakland County Probate Court.

Escalating incident

Video footage filmed for football purposes and shown to Patch Tuesday shows clearly the escalation of the incident beginning after an onside kick play with six seconds left in the game.

Video shows coach Brad Zube walking an estimated 15 yards from the home sideline after the kick, which did not appear to result in a penalty on either side.

Shortly thereafter, it appears that Zube ordered the team off of the field. A public address broadcaster can be heard explaining that the game was ruled as completed.

Video shows that after the Stoney Creek team exited the field, its coaching staff remained. Zube can be seen being restrained by other members of the Cougars coaching staff during an apparent argument.

The student can then be seen running into the fray and striking "Buzz" Zube, who fell to the field and almost immediately leapt to his feet. 

The West Bloomfield School District's spokesperson Pam Zajac said that the Lakers crossing the field and coming into contact with the Stoney Creek coaching staff was necessary in order for the team to leave.

"The Stoney Creek stadium is designed so that the only way for the opposing team to exit the field is to cross the field and exit up through the student section," Zajac said. "Crossing the field and coming into contact with their coaching staff only occurred because the team was attempting to exit the field."

Rochester Schools released a statement Monday explaining that Zube was fine after being tended to by team trainers.

The statement continued that an internal investigation is under way and that the school district is working with West Bloomfield administrators to find out what happened.

"If any Stoney Creek High School players or coaches are found to be at fault, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken," said the statement from the district's community relations manager, Debbi Hartman.

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