Officials from both Batavia and Geneva high schools say a tweet sent by a Batavia player after Friday's football game won't affect a longstanding friendly rivalry among the two schools.
A Twitter post by a Batavia defensive lineman Marquise Jenkins with a hashtag "vikingkiller" announces that he broke Geneva sophomore quarterback Dan Santacaterina's collarbone in the varsity contest.
The immediate @JenkinsMarquise tweet prior to that one, posted at 10:18 a.m. Friday, offers some fairly typical high school trash talk: "YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS!!! IT'S GAME DAY!!! TIME TO KILL GENEVA!!!!"
The hit came in the second half of Friday's game, which the Bulldogs won 35-21.
The tweet is another interesting case for high school sports and social media. A CNN report a year ago blames online trash talking for turning a football rivalry violent.
Batavia Athletic Director David Andrews, responding to an email, said at 3:50 p.m. that he had not read the tweets and so couldn't comment on them.
"As always, we instruct all of our student athletes to make good choices," he said. "If not, then we deal with each issue privately."
Geneva Athletic Director Jim Kafer said via phone Monday afternoon that he had no comment on the specific post. "I don’t deal in tweets, so I haven’t seen it," he said.
Kafer described Jenkins as "a good young man" and "a good athlete."
"Dan's injury was unfortunate, but it was a clean hit," he said. "I thought this game, as with most of the ones in the last several years, was very clean, very hard fought, and played with mutual respect on both sides. I don’t see this as anything that changes any of that."
Kafer said that, to his knowledge, there are no Illinois High School Association regulations governing a player's use of social media.
"The tweets are a thing that have opened up a lot of opportunities for things to be said that maybe you don’t say in another setting," he said. "We always talk with our kids, regardless what media vehicle they use, that they always remember who they’re representing and the fact that the audience may be very broad, and the message they send may not be the one they intended."
"Certainly in today’s environment, with the focus on the sensational, the opportunity is there for a lot of things to get out there," Kafer said. "It’s a challenge for young people—and for adults, for that matter."