Crestwood Football Program Still Suspended, Friday Game Canceled

The Crestwood High School football program remains suspended, Superintendent David Toth announced Tuesday, meaning Friday's home game against Garrettsville has been canceled.

This is the second week that the Crestwood football team won't take the field due to an ongoing investigation of alleged student misconduct. Last week's game against Mogadore was canceled abruptly after allegations were brought forth. The Mantua Village Police Department is investigating "possible criminal acts," and the school district is said to be fully cooperating. Toth told Portage County's Record-Courier that administrators would be interviewing all members of the football program.

Toth acknowledged Tuesday that students and their families and the whole community naturally wanted to know more information about the unspecified incidents, but he said the school district was prohibited from saying anything specific by state and Federal privacy laws.

From the statement:

...Please know that the Crestwood Local School District believes that all of our student-athletes must model common sense, cooperation, leadership, and high standards of personal behavior. Real success by our student-athletes can only be achieved through a willingness to live up to these expectations. As in real life, the actions our student-athletes choose to take will result in direct consequences.

The guiding philosophy of the Crestwood Local Schools Athletic Department is, first and foremost, to provide experiences for our student-athletes with the goal of creating life lessons that will help to develop successful people who will make positive contributions in our society and community.

Conduct unbecoming student-athletes and an athletic program of the Crestwood Local School District shall never be tolerated.

Playing and competing in high school athletics is a unique and important learning experience. And this participation is an elective privilege for our student-athletes — it is not a right.

Our student-athletes are held to higher standards both academically and behaviorally to maintain eligibility to participate. Our student-athletes represent the Crestwood Local School District inside or outside of our community as role models to others.

As leaders, our student-athletes have the responsibility to portray their teammates, their team, their school, their families, and themselves in a positive manner at all times. This sometimes means doing things that are an inconvenience to an individual student-athlete, but benefit the whole team. Our student-athletes must never do anything to embarrass their teammates, their team, their school, their families, or themselves.

Whether our student-athletes play under the “Friday Night Lights” this week … next week … or the rest of the season, should be the least of the concerns facing our student-athletes today. As educators, it is our duty and responsibility to take these events as vital teachable moments in which we make learning and life-lessons the first priority.

Now is the time for each student-athlete to take pride in themselves, be their own person, and take ownership of the immense responsibility that comes with being a Crestwood athlete.