A few bad apples can ruin the whole bunch.
The Brocton Bulldogs football team learned just that the hard way this past week.
After four players quit the football team, Brocton was left without a varsity team for the second straight year.
The Brocton?Bulldogs cancelled their season for a second straight year.?After four players quit, the team did not have enough players to field a team for the rest of the season. Players like Derek Head, pictured above, who did not quit are now unable to represent their school in their senior year.
Last spring, the school board passed a contingency budget and football was eliminated. When that happened, a group of community members formed the Bulldog Club. The organization held several different fund raisers to raise enough money to save the football team.
The Bulldog Club held a chicken BBQ, community car wash, high school dance, Chinese auction, a teachers versus students basketball game and many other events to save the team.
So when it was announced the football team was saved and there would be a season, the Brocton community was elated. And when the Bulldogs hosted a football game Sept. 3 against Chautauqua Lake, the village packed the stands to watch their Bulldogs back in action.
At a team meeting Thursday, the team realized with four players injured, their season was over because four other players decided to quit. Betrayal, disappointment and anger were just a few of the emotions which spread throughout Brocton.
"We are all disappointed," Bulldog senior captain Derek Head said. "The town came together to get the team back and these kids showed no commitment. They have no heart."
See BROCTON,?Page B3
Derek's father, Bob, who is also a key contributor in the Bulldog Club was also disappointed, but stayed optimistic in what the club has accomplished and what they will continue to accomplish.
"We are going to keep going on and get the other programs back and running," Bob declared. "The pep band and student council were brought back thanks to the Bulldog Club. We have a dedicated group who will make sure the players have things to do."
Ryan Bonnas, a senior captain, noted the most unsettling matter is the fact the four players are in school with no remorse.
"It came down to who had heart and who didn't," Bonnas said. "It's pathetic that kids quit because they didn't care. It was a smack in the face to the community. When they quit, they weren't letting down themselves, but everyone on the team and in the community."
Bonnas went on to thank the players who did stay committed to the team.
"I want to thank them," he continued. "They are the ones who have heart and do care. If we would have won, they would have been the reason why."
Chris Sleeper, another senior captain, added he hopes the players do feel remorseful.
"The kids who were there wanted to play and we know who they are," he said. "We know the ones who didn't want to play. I hope they feel bad for what they did.
"I think what it comes down to is the community and kids who put in the work and went to the fund-raising events. We are the ones hurting the most - especially the parents and community. They are the ones who got a black eye from this."
While most of the players are eligible to go back down to play on the junior varsity team, the seniors will not be able to represent their school thanks to a couple bad apples.