So, last Friday night while I was sitting in the press box in Morris for the Redskins' game against Oak Lawn Richards, a story came across on the Morris Daily Herald Twitter feed that caught my eye. In a fantastic piece of reporting by the La Salle NewsTribune, they uncovered a horrifying scandal about the football team.
If you missed it, basically someone close enough to the football program leaked sensitive information about the team to opposing coaches. This private information was said to include plays, formations and scouting reports about the Cavaliers' football players.
La Salle-Peru High School Superintendent Steve Wrobleski was quoted for the story as saying, "The piece that was most troubling and quite honestly sickening to us is there was a page that listed 22 athletes by name and position. It said, ‘This athlete has a knee injury so if he's in there, take him out and they won't score,' so this has now crossed a line because it involves our kids by name."
What is horrifying is that six of the nine teams on the L-P schedule this year — which does not include Morris, in Northern Illinois Big 12 crossover play — admitted they received the same package of information.
All of this came to light after the season opener between Rock Island Alleman and L-P, according to the Quad City Times, when both Alleman coach Dave DeJaegher and United Township coach Ron Litchfield notified LPHS that they had received the nefarious packages.
According to the QC Times, "DeJaegher said that the packet was sent by someone who obviously had an axe to grind. Litchfield said the information in the envelope was things that only a coach would know."
In the aftermath of this story in the past week, apparently there has been action at LPHS School as Jake Burke, a former coach, was put on leave.
According to the Peoria Journal Star, Burke "spent 12 years at LPHS as a football and baseball assistant and boys track head coach before he was non-retained for all three positions at a school board meeting on May 16."
Burke played at Metamora High School where he graduated in 1994. After not being retained this spring for the upcoming season, the NewsTribune reported that he had been a volunteer coach at Ottawa but "recently officials at that school notified Burke his services were no longer needed.”
Just about every school has less than ideal coaching departures they've had to deal with over the years. Former coaches and administration not seeing eye to eye and all that. But no matter how much animosity here there and everywhere where things like this takes place, this was the first time I have heard of a former coach who was wishing injury on the players he once helped coach.
Despicable, totally despicable.