PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – When is bowling more important than football?
The players wearing the purple shirts at Plano Super Bowl Friday would tell you it’s when it raises awareness about stopping sexual assault and domestic violence, which is why they were there instead of on the practice field.
UIL rules are strict. You only get 18 practices during spring training, and most programs want to take advantage of every opportunity. But on Friday the practice field was empty so Plano Senior High School players could get a different kind of training.
“You’re building a reputation every single day,” Defensive Coordinator Brent Graham said, “and just one bad decision in a split second could ruin that reputation.”
Bombarded by images of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice assaulting his fiancé in an elevator and the details surrounding Baylor University’s sexual assault scandal, high school teams across Texas are looking for ways to teach young players how to prevent becoming involved in similar situations.
“As a staff we sat down after the Baylor incident took place, and we’re trying to figure out what we’re doing to mold young men,” Graham said.
He along with the team’s head coach decided to spend a day off the field raising awareness among their players about preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.
“I have a mom. You know everybody has a mom, aunt, grandma, I mean even if it’s a favorite teacher, and you just think about it, and you just wouldn’t want something like that to happen to them,” Plano Senior High School Offensive Tackle Kevin Johnson said.
In addition to teambuilding exercises, the football program is raising money through t-shirt sales and a bowling tournament to be donated to the humanitarian group NoMore, which works to stop gender-based violence.
“We want them one day to be maybe great fathers, great husbands, and this is a start to that,” Graham said.