SALT LAKE CITY — Before the game even started, a matchup between two undefeated teams was already heated.
“It was a big region game. There was a lot of conversation and talk, banter going back and forth between the two teams on Twitter, you know, social media stuff, and I think our kids took exception to it,” said Brandon Maditch, coach of East High School’s football team in Salt Lake City.
Two weeks ago, as the players from Woods Cross High School went to shake hands with the captains at East, they were rejected.
“Sometimes emotions get involved,” Maditch said. “This is a high emotion game, football is, and they are teenagers, and sometimes, emotionally, they need a little direction.”
Maditch apologized to the coach at Woods Cross the following day and addressed the issue with his players. However, the simple gesture on the field highlighted a greater issue that athletic departments around the state are tackling.