The motivational message emblazoned on the wall outside the J.H. Rose High School football team’s weight room looks nondescript at first glance:
But if you bang helmets on the gridiron for J.H. Rose—and your main rival is fellow Greenville, S.C. school D.H. Conley High—a salvo hidden within “Family, Unity, Discipline, Heart, Commitment” becomes crystal clear. And the accusation is it was intentional.
If the message is unclear, we’ve included the letters below:
Which is why interim coach Dave Wojtecki got a five-day suspension without pay in connection with the painted message, according to WCTI-TV (which added the black circles over the first letters of the first two words in the photo).
The Pitt County School District offered this statement about Wojtecki’s suspension: “Earlier this week, school system officials were made aware of an incident at J.H. Rose High School that does not reflect the sportsmanship and respect that all coaches, players, and fans are expected to display in Pitt County athletics. District leaders contacted administrators at the school, and the school’s administration handled all discipline related to the matter. We are confident that everyone involved understands the reasons for the discipline, and we will all move forward with a successful fall sports season.”
Wojtecki returned to the field Monday—and likely needed the break: Having been diagnosed with diabetes three weeks ago, he had heart-valve stent surgery last Thursday only 90 minutes after doctors ran tests on him, the Daily Reflector reports.
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the team of late.
Wojtecki was named interim head coach after Todd Lipe, the former head coach, was suspended amid fallout over a star player’s transfer to D.H. Conley and eligibility issues involved.
By the way, don’t go looking for the “Family, Unity, Discipline, Heart, Commitment” message if you’re ever in town; WCTI reports that it’s been painted over.