Another cyberbullying incident. But this time — even though the culprits were not specifically caught — a thoughtful coaching staff was able to fight back and teach a lesson that brought a team back together.
Matt Labrum believes football helps create great men.
And it is that belief and his passion for the game that led the Union High School head football coach and his staff to suspend all 80 players from the team because of off-field problems ranging from cyberbullying to skipping classes.
“We felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn’t want our young men going,” said Labrum, an alumnus of the program he’s coached for the past two years. “We felt like we needed to make a stand.”
So the coach and his staff gathered the team together after Friday night’s loss to Judge Memorial Catholic High School and told them he was concerned about some of the players’ actions and behavior off the field. He then instructed them all to turn in their jerseys and their equipment. There would be no football until they earned the privilege to play.
The story recounts the players’ reactions and their parents’ as each young man reexamined what it meant to deserve the right to play on that team. Read about the multiple steps each player had to take to earn back their spot and the results of the coaches’ drastic move here.