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December 11, 2017

Can’t make this up: Football coach smacks kid, gets three game suspension

FFL4There is something unusual about Texas dads and football.

Upon birth, every father signs his son up for the sport. If he ever played the game in his youth, he has a sacred obligation to serve as a coach. Dad and son will be on the football field as soon as the boy celebrates his fifth birthday, and then dad steps back when the professional coaches take over in middle school.

The majority of these dads do a great job teaching the boys the sports’ fundamentals in a safe and encouraging way. However, there are a few who don’t belong on field.

Ever.

A few weeks ago, a Frisco coach smacked a kid during a game. To be fair, he smacked HIS kid – after the boy caused a fumble. Apparently, that’s a punishable offense for  prepubescents whose hand-eye coordination is still developing.

Dad-Coach* angrily ran on the field after the play, clenched his hands, and yelled at the boy for a few seconds. He then pulled his arm back, smacked the child across the head, and walked away.  As the boy cried on the sidelines, Dad-Coach returned and barked at him to stop the tears. He then went back to monitoring his team’s next play while another coach consoled his son.

Even though it happened in front of dozens of people, no one reacted. An opposing coach, who saw the incident on a game video, reported it to the league’s board of directors.

An inexcusable offense? Not really. A majority of the board members decided the infraction deserved a three game suspension; two dissenters quit in protest.

Three games.

For hitting a kid.

I don’t understand the logic. Maybe they were thinking, “It wasn’t so bad,” or “This can happen to any coach during a frustrating game.” Or maybe they forgot the policies they showed all of us nervous moms that promised physical or verbal abuse of players would not be tolerated in any form.

I saw the video. I saw the response. As the mom of a young football player, the offense, punishment and indifference scare me more than anything that could ever happen on the field.

What message does this send to the boys? Suck it up if an adult hits you. You probably deserved it.

What message does it send to other coaches? Don’t worry about losing it on the field; you’ll just get a slap on the wrist.

What message does it send to me as parent? The feelings of grown-ups come before the safety and well-being of children.

Regardless of the messages the incident sends, one message has already been clearly received by a few folks. Dad-Coach has been mistreated and deserves support. During his first non-coaching game,  a mom held up a “We Love Dad-Coach” sign in the stands and his team left the field chanting “For Dad-Coach! For Dad-Coach!”

What??? Maybe I’m missing something or perhaps I’m being over-sensitive.

I understand football is an aggressive game and players must be physically and mentally tough. However, I also understand my son and these other boys are still children, and children don’t learn when adults are yelling, hitting and throwing things.

This was the first time I’d ever seen a coach smack a child, and it better be the last time. Any full-grown man who degrades and strikes a child out of anger has no business being a football coach. Any adult who sees nothing wrong with it doesn’t deserve to be a parent.

Period.

End of story.

Even in Texas.

 

*Not his real name


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9 Comments on Can’t make this up: Football coach smacks kid, gets three game suspension

  1. You people raise issues like this to the point of utter ridiculousness. Like Coach Lowery, I was there as well and saw the whole thing. Before I get into that, let explain something. This is football. These boys are not learning ballet or basket weaving or crochet. They are learning to go out and hit and push and block other boys. And some of those boys on the opposing team are classmates and friends. It takes a very special sort of man to take time to teach the right skills necessary to play the game right but, also, the play the game the right way. Respect for your teammates and the opposing team. And EVERY COACH on this team exemplifies this.

    My son started in the FFL three years ago with no previous football experience. I was extremely reluctant to let him play because of ALL the bad press and
    YouTube videos. And three years ago my family had the sheer luck to join the Fighting Irish family in Frisco. My son has enjoyed every day he has being an Irish player and that had everything to do with the man that leads this team.

    Those coaches teach our boys so much more than football. And you, whoever you people are, that have noting better to do than to belittle and attempt to ostracize a wonderful coach and great man because it upsets your sensibilities?! Because you think he acted in a way counter to what you think is right? Have you ever “struck” your child? For anything? Ever? Remember those that live in glasses houses throwing stones!

    Coach Wargal did nothing more than get his son’s attention. Something that I have done on many occasions to my son. And Coach Lowery is right, every coach hits any kid on the helmet twice, three times harder when he scores and makes a good play.

    If we follow your course, all of our kids would wallow in mediocrity and never feel the thrill of doing a great job, of working toward a goal and seeimg it through. Our boys, would be less men, period!

    • Kenny,

      You are making my case for me. Thank you.

      In case you hadn’t noticed, nowhere in my post nor in the photo did I identify the team or individuals involved. You have just told the world the name of the man who struck a child on the football field, and you have just confessed that you believe striking a child is not a big deal. Congratulations on outing everyone for a global audience. And for the record, you did not see everything that happened because of the video’s vantage point.

      What is it with all the talk about “every parent hits their kids out of anger”? You’re not the first person to raise this point, and frankly, I am horrified so many people in my community embrace this disgusting justification for child abuse. Contrary to the what you and my other haters promote as the norm, very few parents strike their kids or rip their psyches to shreds. Your comments about my “glasshouse” are going to shatter in your face because neither me nor my husband has ever raised an angry hand to our kids. There were a few quick swats to the tush when a toddler decided to dart for traffic, but nothing more. Call us weak, but I think most Frisco parents believe children should never be physically and verbally assaulted – especially by the people who are supposed to love and protect them.

      To be honest, I’m a bit tired of all the ignorant misplaced anger, smear campaigns and threats directed toward me and the others who are speaking out so this NEVER happens again to any child in the Frisco Football League. The ENTIRE board of the Frisco Football League believed what your coach did was disturbing enough to kick him off the board of the directors and suspend him for three games. That should say something to you and your team.

      Have you stopped to consider what messages you and the other Irish parents are sending to your sons? The overwhelming message you’ve publicly shared is “Coach did nothing wrong, he is being victimized and he needs our support.” Did y’all tell your boys it is against the rules for a grown up to hit a kid? Did y’all ever ask them how they really felt about all the yelling and helmet smacks? Did y’all blame others for coach’s consequence rather than manning up and accepting the punishment?

      Kenny, I’m a mom who is looking out for the well-being of children, and I believe it can be done without degrading, hitting and yelling. Hundreds of other FFL coaches do it. It’s quite sad to hear you say the other boys and dads in the FFL are wallowing in mediocrity and are “lesser” men. (Your words, not mine.) In my eyes, they are ethical, compassionate, hardworking dads who are raising their boys to be the kind of men our world so desperately needs. My husband and son are included in that group.

      Dropping the mike and walking off the stage.

  2. Kim… I hv been a parent of a child playing football for 7 years, under this coach, and played under him for 3 years before that. My son has payed under other coaches as well!!!! I find 1/2 truths to be misleading! You were not there, I was as well!!! I have seen dads, dragg their kids off field. The fact you have the adacity to go on my Facebook page, screen shot something about a different game, questions me ?.?? are you worried about our kids???? I’m curious what your children are like? I know my child is smart, kind, would give you shirt off his back and a team player!!! No cheap shots. I hv personally seen and heard parents from other teams to tell their kids, to illegally hit kids!!! Our kids are coached with rules, and integrity of the game. IMO. Don’t speak 1/2 truths on a blog, put me in the middle of your dislikings! You posted me and a pic of my son pic for no reason, which had nothing to do with incidence you are blogging ” about. What was your point of that? did you know it was a different game? are you proud of your children when they play hard and play fair and give it 100 percent effort!!! Honesty, integrity and play with heart is what we teach in my house!!!! How dare you take a picture about one game and add it so you think it fits your blog!!! i can share numbersous pictures of kids fouling illegally, over the top things!! I am suggesting you remove this picture of mybsons face immediately, as you had no right to it!!!!! My child is 11 years old!!! And correct what game that pic was from. The game you were talking about was not that game, and get your facts straight before including pic of me and my son! What would posess you to do something lije that???? im not sure, i even know you, and after this care not too!! That’s what’s wrong with this world today!!! I will notify my attorney today and ask him my rights. You obviously have an issue with coach. I suggest, you act like adults and talk out your issues one on one. That’s leader by example. Texting, blog is a cowardly to Handal issues. If you want to solve an issue, sit down and be productive. And hold all coaches accountable!!! Sorry, if you think all the football coaches don’t scream, you live in dream land. We’re you at the first game when a coach from other team, dragged his son off?

    Me taking a photo and posting a pic of how proud we were of our boys for playing hard after all the termoil, you parents tried to put in front of them! What was your point on going on my Facebook page and taking a screen shoot on congratulating our boys on a great victory! What did our boys do wrong????? That was at the Texans game! Not even game you are complaining about?

    If you want to blog, keep me out!!!!
    Again, I’m going to ask you to remove my pic and my 11 year old son pic, who had nothing to do with it!!!! you obviously are not wortied about all kids!!!!!!! i will be contacting my attorney if you do not remove his picture and to make sure you correct your comments and explain, pictures are from 2 different games!!!!! I hv important things to worry about then you screen shooting my facebook page because I want to congratulate my son and his teammates!!! I find your spin of the 2 irresponsible!!!!

    • Hi Lisa,

      I’m a bit confused by your comments; however, I am assuming it may have something to do with the photo you posted on social media. I would be irresponsible if I did not tell you a little bit about how social media works. Social media is a public forum that allows people to share and interact. There is no privacy whatsoever; whatever you post can be seen by millions of others. I know you love your son, and that’s why he’s included in your social media profile picture. Millions of people have the ability to see that photo everytime you share something online. As a courtesy, I did initially blur out your name and made no reference to your identity anywhere on the page; however, your comments on this blog have publicly outed you as the woman who originally posted the piece. People now know your name, and I had nothing to do with that.

      I am well aware that photo was taken at the Texans game because I was in the stands, and the image does not celebrate your boys’ victory. It clearly denotes support for a coach who received a three day suspension for striking a child. As you may have noticed in the post, I do specifically talk about that sign. The photo is extremely relevant to the story. Your original placing it on social media made it public domain.

      My issue is not with your coach; my issue is with people who think this kind of behavior is no big deal. That’s a flagrant violation of trust between them and the thousands of FFL parents who think the organization puts the well-being of their children above anything else. If you’re okay with your coach, good for you. Many other parents would not share that sentiment.

      As I’ve stated in other comments, I am so thankful my son has not been subjected to angry coaches who yell, grab their helmets or belittle them for mistakes. I am also thankful to be surrounded by other ethical parents who are intent on raising ethical and compassionate young men. Yes, I know they’re out there every Saturday, and no, I don’t accept their attitudes as “Just the way it is.” That’s why youth sports is having such a cultural crisis.

      The truth of this situation does not change – a coach angrily struck a child and his punishment for doing so is a 3-week suspension. I spoke out because I care about the thousands of other little boys who play in the Frisco Football League who should never have to encounter this kind of behavior from an adult.

    • You can purchase the video from H5 Media Productions at http://www.h5mediaproductions.com/store.html. The company has not given news media permission to run the clip, and they make it pretty clear they’ll legally pursue copyright infringement against anyone who posts it on social media or other public viewing site. Order the 12U Fighting Irish vs. the Eagles video from Sept. 13.

      The incident begins around the 23:20 mark, and if you watch the bottom left side of the screen, you can see the smack at 23:46. A few seconds later you can see the boy in the bottom center of the screen and Coach-Dad barking, “Stop Now!” at him. Contrary to what a prior commenter said, a white coach steps in to console the boy and pat his back around 24:18.

  3. Well first off your account of what happened is false. I was standing right there when it happened. The Coach did not run onto the field, the coach did not continue to yell at the kid and most important the kid was not crying. I know that because I am the coach that talked to the kid after. I asked you good and he said yes Coach. Also the kid had his helmet on and was not knocked down or anything. What you don’t know about the Coach is that he has done the same thing to my son after he scored a touchdown. It is always funny how people take to a blog or Facebook when these kind of issues happen. It allows you to be judge and hide. Did I see a problem with it no. I have seen at least 10 coaches do much worse in this league. The two people making a big mess of this has no right to judge.

    I personally was ripped by coaches grabbed and cussed at in my years of sports. And I thank everyone of those coaches. They molded me to be the man I am today. The problem with our society is that we baby our kids and that is why we has a generation that is soft and you are starting to see the effects all over the world in how people view the US. Back in the 70’s and 80’s you would get paddled in school. Did we end up that bad? Sorry for getting a little of task but I was there and the craziness that has happened since this incident is way over the top and uncalled for.

    And you need to take that picture down immediately or you will here from my attorney!

    • Coach Lowery, thank you for making my case about why we have so many problems with youth sports culture.

      As the video clearly shows, you weren’t “right there” for the most disturbing actions. Minimize things if you like, but this does not change the fact that an angry coach yelled, screamed and struck a child. It also doesn’t change the fact that too many people in the Frisco Football League think this kind of behavior is acceptable and that it helps boys develop into men.

      Give them time to hit puberty before you subject them to the full-force of an adult temper tantrum; they’re barely out of the tantrum stage themselves.

      I am so glad my son has experienced better treatment from his coaches.

      PS- The photo remains up; it was originally posted on a social media site a few weeks earlier, and I’m sure hundreds of folks had already seen it and shared it from its original posting. Sorry, it was public domain before I ever saw it. However, as a courtesy, I did blur out the faces of the children.

  4. HS football, college football, etc. have the paramedics on site before the game even starts, sitting their throughout the game in case of injury. Think about that! Maybe police should be required, too.

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