Archive for Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tonganoxie football coach Mark Elston resigns

Former Tonganoxie High football coach Mark Elston, seen in this Mirror file photo, resigned from his coaching duties on Aug. 31 after 11 years at the helm.

Former Tonganoxie High football coach Mark Elston, seen in this Mirror file photo, resigned from his coaching duties on Aug. 31 after 11 years at the helm.

August 31, 2011, 12:05 p.m.

Updated: August 31, 2011, 6:56 p.m.

Mark Elston didn’t think his last day as Tonganoxie High football coach would come two days before the start of the season.

He deemed that necessary, though, after being suspended Tuesday from his coaching duties by school officials following events that took place between Elston and a player during Monday’s practice.

Wednesday afternoon, Elston submitted his resignation.

“I just did what was best for the kids,” Elston said of stepping down. “We’ve got to move forward on this and there’s no point dragging it out… For their sake, for my sake, for the betterment of my family and those kids, let’s move on.”

The embattled former coach did not wish to divulge the exact details of Monday’s altercation, such as which player he was reprimanding or what he said or did during the exchange. The Mirror later confirmed that the player Elston got after was sophomore linebacker Jordan Boudreaux.

What Elston did say, however, was that Boudreaux was being scolded because he had just “flat annihilated and blindsided” freshman quarterback Carl Hecht even though Hecht was wearing a green jersey, which signifies he’s not supposed to be touched.

In the moment, Elston said, his immediate reaction to get the situation solved was to verbally go after Boudreaux for making a hit that left Hecht lying injured on the ground.

“I’ve got to protect my players by whatever means necessary,” Elston said.

Boudreaux’s grandfather and guardian Jules Boudreaux told The Mirror he thought Elston responded in the correct manner. Jules described Jordan’s account of the situation: While removing defensive players from the pile on top of Hecht, Elston picked Jordan up — not to hurt him, but to verbally discipline him.

“There was some instruction being given to him in a loud manner but that’s not a confrontation really,” Jules said. “It’s an emotional game for players and coaches.”

According to Jules, Elston didn’t use any “vile language” or physically abuse Jordan while yelling at him. Jordan told his grandfather he was not upset about the coach’s approach.

Said Elston: “As coach and a parent, I did what I thought was correct at the time of action — at that time for that individual.”

Elston, who was beginning his 12th year in Tonganoxie, said he had warned Boudreaux before about the hits he was delivering at practices.

“I love him to death, but I’ve been on him for three weeks now to stop it and I reached my limit,” Elston said.

The coach said he was caught up in the moment and he understands how others could disagree with his actions at that time.

“You try to do the right thing at all times in all situations,” he said. “The right thing for person A might not be the right thing for person B.”

According to Elston, a person at Dollar General, across U.S. Highway 24-40 from the THS practice field, saw the incident and reported it to the school. He described that as “getting a snapshot view” in 35 seconds of a three-week long situation.

“What he saw, he saw. I’m not going to deny it,” Elston said.

Jules questioned why the exchange was ever reported to THS officials.

“Why somebody else got involved in it and reported it out of context, I have no idea,” he said.

Elston, in Jules’ opinion, wasn’t overstepping his boundary with Jordan. The player’s grandfather said he thought the reprimanding was appropriate for the actions that had transpired.

Jules said he was disappointed to learn of Elston’s resignation.

“I feel bad. And I feel bad for Mr. Elston, and I feel bad for Jordan, because some of the teammates think Jordan or someone form his family complained and were responsible for this,” Jules said.

“There are some people in town who would like to see Mr. Elston go, and I’m not one of them.”

Hecht’s mother, Beth, told The Mirror that Carl did not suffer a serious injury on the hit that led to the incident. She said after Monday’s practice her son was just dealing with the normal aches and pains of playing football.

Beth did not wish to comment on Elston’s actions, but did say she thought it was good that coaches are trying to teach high school players about the proper way to make hits.

A statement released by USD 464 Superintendent Randy Weseman Wednesday afternoon announced the coach’s resignation.

“Mark has made significant contributions to our football program,” Weseman said in the statement. “We appreciate his service to our kids and the school district.”

THS defensive coordinator Matt Bond has been named interim head coach.

The Chieftains practiced Wednesday afternoon without Elston. Bond and assistants Brad Shelton and Scott Peavey ran practice.

Bond declined to comment on Elston’s resignation, as did the THS players.

Said senior linebacker Ryan Lynch: “None of us are gonna be in the mood to talk today.”

Tonganoxie’s season opens at 7 p.m. Friday at Bishop Ward, in Kansas City, Kan.

Comments

changetime 2 years, 7 months ago

Can it be a snap shot when this situation has been brought up many times before about this coach and his program’s constant abuse of their athletes?

Once you are placed in a position of leadership, especially as a coach over kids, you never have a right to lay a hand on any of your players. I agree that you have to protect your players, but at what cost? Wasn’t the kid you belittled and struck a player of yours too? Who is protecting those that you harm? Bullying doesn't only happen between kids, and contrary to popular belief, it does not belong in football, either.

If we take the ego out of it, coach, you will see that you handled the situation poorly and un-like your teachings have not learned from your past mistakes. In fact, didn’t you create a behavior contract this year? A contract signed by each athlete and their parents. Have you up held your part of that contract? Is this really the actions for the "classiest program in Tonganoxie"? I think if we all take a look at the past five years and weigh all the issues, losses and the now dwindling numbers there is only one conclusion. It’s time for a change!!!

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

The person making the complaint is in the right no matter what. If anyone was at the same place at the same time, they would have complained as well. But the fact is, is that when a player is disregarding the coaches when they have told them numerous times about a situation, especially one like this, it gets to a point where it needs to be stepped up to where the player can understand. This game is not "pee-wee", its not "middle school", this is high school football. These four years of football are the last step before any college career in football if a player decides to go to college for this sport, and everyone at that level gets yelled and screamed at, because that is game, that is what the sport carries with it everywhere. It is a rough, tough, and mean sport anywhere you go, especially in the college and NFL brackets. And to get anyone to succeed it doesn't take caudling, or the babying of an adult. This sport takes bruises, torn muscles, broken bones, blood, and even the yelling of a coach to get a job done. I have had first hand experience with the coaches and football program of Tonganoxie, and it made me into a better person overall. I got yelled at when I did something wrong, and had to pay for it by running laps or even sitting out a game. But I knew overall that I did something wrong and that I needed to learn from it. I have two younger brothers that have gone through and is still going through, in one case, the Tonganoxie High School football program. And so far it is doing great for them. Overall, if you don't know what the game of football comes with it when you and your child sign up for it, don't have them go out for it. Because this is how the game is, and I hope will always be.....a rough, tough, and mean sport.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

From my point of view, this football program and coaching staff are great people with experience that has worked in their past careers and they are now passing the experience on to the athletes of today. All three of my brothers would agree with me when I say that the game is fantastic and the results at the end are even better. I don't agree with some of the past issues with what has happened, but there are alot that have blown completely out of proportion, this being one of them.

To the coaches of the Tonganoxie High School football team, you have mine and my brothers support, and thank you for yelling at us when it was needed, and "PRAISING" us, picking us up, and teaching us great lessons and skills for the future. B.Y.A.

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free2besweet 2 years, 7 months ago

I wish there was a like button for the first poster. He hit the nail on the head. There have been numerous complaints and there would likely be more if players didn't fear the repercussions of the coach and their teammates if they speak out. There's no reward in telling. Nothing gets resolved, Elston gets a slap on the wrist, and the player suffers the consequences for the remainder of the season.

I have seen him publicly humiliate players, be rude to parents, and prance around like an overgrown peacock with Napoleon Syndrome for far too long. It's definitely time for change. A new program with a new coach. Time to make football fun again. Teens shouldn't be terrorized to be part of a team.

Come on Tonganoxie! We're better than this!

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tryandkeepup 2 years, 7 months ago

Can you say "straw that broke the camel's back?" This has going on for years and years. If a bystander shopping across a four lane highway noticed there was a problem with football practice...this must have been a very loud and obvious situation. Parents & players over the years have not wanted to confirm or complain...fearing a reduction in playing time or some other form of humiliation.

"What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room" has been the code with Coach Elston for a long time. He finally showed his true colors in a very public incident...game over. Take your football and go home Mark.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

i agree with change time and free2besweet it 100% time for a change. ELSTON has tortured enough kids both mentally and physically and its needs to stop. I am not sure why the school board cant see this it is a year after year occurrence and it just gets worse for the players, our children who we as parents are suppose to protect and school board members you are parents too! You had a large group of parents go to the school board last winter about his treatment to players along with coach bond and once again absolutely nothing was done to him or about it!!! what is it going to take him killing a kid or abusing them mentally so bad that they commit suicide before someone fires him??? I just dont get it. yeah football is a rough sport but so is soccer and rugby and other contact sports and everyone knows that sore muscles and such are all part of sports and that coaches might yell at players to get points across but NO VERBAL ABUSE SHOULD BE ALLOWED FROM A COACH BULLYING A PLAYER FOR ANY REASON CALLING A PLAYER DIRTY DEGRADING NAMES IS NOT RIGHT! You would think it would be an easy decision to make its NOT like he has a winning record as a football coach either. players quitting the team speaks for itself. the players love the game and want to play so that maybe they can go on to college and play BUT no one can stand him as the coach and it isnt worth the mentall anquish he puts them through.

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

Parents should listen to the children more. Forty-one of the team showed up this morning before school to show their support, unsolicited by the coaching staff; doesn't sound like a coach that has lost his team to me.

When I was in high school we had some vocal parents that couldn't stand their kids weren't All-Americans and needed someone to blame. My hometown ran off a great coach and lost two excellent teachers in the process. (Sorry Mr. and Mrs. B.) I am not saying this is the case here, but it could be...

No one is perfect, and no one has all the facts... myself included. Let's not be too quick here. I fear more harm than good might come of this untimely staff change. The biggest losers in this will be the kids, and that is unacceptable to me. The only thing that matters right now is this group of kids, and I think they made their wishes pretty clear this morning.

I am close to the program as the athletic trainer, I am a teacher in the school, I know that will make this appear biased, and maybe it is. But, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves here. What do you think is REALLY best for our kids? A three man coaching staff that will struggle to supervise all of our student-athletes? A new hire that isn't familiar with our kids and their abilities just before the first game? This isn't the time for a change of this magnitude.

I am looking at this purely from a player safety standpoint... Makes more sense to me to only be short one coach, not two. None of us can make this decision, it is up to the administration.

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MidwesTexan86 2 years, 7 months ago

As an Athletic trainer were you at practice when this happened? If so, can you tell is what happened and how serious it really was? People need the facts

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

I was. I was checking on the QB and didn't see any physical contact. What I heard and saw after checking on him was nothing over the top.

I have heard that the player's family is not upset about how it was handled. As a parent, I wouldn't have been either. But, it is all moot now.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

PADFIELD I BET THE GROUP OF KIDS THAT AGREE FOR HIM TO BE FIRED IS MUCH LARGER THEN THE ONES WHO SUPPORT HIM THEY JUST WONT COME FORWARD DUE TO FEAR OF BEING REPREMANDED BY PEOPLE

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

FINALLY SOMEONE SAW HIM DO THE BRUTALITY TO A CHILD AND REPORTED IT AND HOPEFULLY THEY WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT THIS TIME. IF U CAN HEAR IT OVER A 4 LANE BUSY HWY THAT IS REALLY BAD. THE OTHER COACHES ON THE TEAM ARE JUST AS BAD AS HE IS BECAUSE THEY STAND BY AND LET IT HAPPEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN........THEY ARE JUST AS GUILTY AS HE IS!!!!

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

I have heard None Commsioned Officers screaming at privates from distences greater then a football field on a firing range. If you truly want to see someone get yelled at come to a army instalation.

Signed Alan Bauerly

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe, but I don't know that and neither do you. The group could have shown up and said, "Please, for the love of God, fire him!" But, they didn't. They didn't have to show up to support him either.

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straightup 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you 'Padfield' If 41 kids of the football team showed up in support of coach Mark Elston.... then the coach must be doing something right with these young kids! Coach Elston was a good coach when our son attend school and played football. He was more then just a coach. He was a teacher, role model, and very caring person that cared about our kids! Sad Day for Tongie!

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

I WOULD NOT WANT MY SONS TO USE HIM AS A ROLE MODEL YOU DONT TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY HE DOES!

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straightup 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe you and your son should be playing volleyball.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

Is this the same coach that did nothing when upperclassmen urinated on freshmen in the locker room? Or when other physical assaults on underclassmen by upperclassmen occurred?

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

yes it is jerryb and some of the same school board member who have allowed him to stay as the coach, horrible fact isnt it?

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

GREAT Q'S MIDWESTEXAN86 --- YEAH AS THE ATHLETIC TRAINER FOR THE SCHOOL WERE YOU AT PRACTICE? THE KIDS AGAINST HIM CANT AND WONT GO FORWARD CAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEM IF THEY DO..............KIDS HAVE GONE FORWARD AND PAID THE PRICE FOR IT SO THEY JUST DONT SAY ANYTHING AND EVERYONE AT THAT SCHOOL AND PARENTS KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE FACT THEY KNOW THAT HE GETS AWAY WITH WHATEVER HE WANTS TO DO AND HAS FOR YEARS AND IT ISNT RIGHT..............NO BULLYING POLICY APPLIES TO EVERYONE AND IS SUPPOSE TO HAVE ZERO TOLLERANCE BUT FOR HIM IT GOES ON AND ON AND ON!

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tryandkeepup 2 years, 7 months ago

The players that showed up this morning are children. They are worried about the season...they only get four years to play a game they love. Mark Elston has had many, many seasons. Enough is enough. Children do not always know what is best for them in the big picture, most times they only think in the here and now and how does this impact me personally. It's time for the adults (parents, administration, school board and other coaches) to do what is in the best interests of these student-athletes and finally take a stand. The idea of not dealing with this situation now because it would be hard on the rest of the staff is weak at best. Many successful programs have dealt with similar situations.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

YEAH I W0NDER WHAT B/S THEY WERE FED BY THE OTHER COACHES TO GO STAND UP FOR HIM. COLLEGES AND PRO TEAMS FIRE COACHES AND GO ON WITH SEASON JUST FINE ADJUSTMENTS MADE CONTINUE ON AND IN THIS CASE FOR SURE WOULD BE FOR THE BETTER. ITS NOT LIKE THEY HAVE A SUCCESSFUL RECORD TO WORRY ABOUT UPHOLDING ANYWAYS ONLY WON 1 GAME LAST YEAR. I BET GET IN NEW COACHING STAFF PUT SOME POSTIVE FEEDBACK TO THESE BOYS AND COACHES THEY CAN RESPECT YOU WILL SEE A WHOLE NEW TEAM OF LIFE IN FOOTBALL

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only1 2 years, 7 months ago

I know who you are and you attacking the ethics and morality of anyone, let alone assistant coaches who are fighting to keep a squad together is humorous. And for the record, yes, they were 1-8 last year, but you are showing your ignorance. Look up the overall record in 11 years. Also, attacking the assistants who had nothing to do with this is way over the top. I'd clean up your own front step before worrying about everyone else's.

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changetime 2 years, 7 months ago

As a football staff member Mr. Shelton I would hope you would support you friend and head coach. But the tone you have tells me that the program does have a issue, is this the same way you "lead" your student athletes? This only affirms the comments made!

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

I would like to know who cancrasher is....

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

Not much trust and faith in our young adults? Give them a chance, they just might surprise you when they aren't coddled and told they are "just children".

"The idea of not dealing with this situation now because it would be hard on the rest of the staff is weak at best." That isn't at all what I said. Player safety, not coaches' comfort, was my focus.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

the picture above of the hand wave ----- should be his wave GOODBYE!

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MidwesTexan86 2 years, 7 months ago

6News Lawrence is reporting that Coach Elston has officially resigned.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

It is a sad, sad situation. I guess the next step is to put surveillance on all coaches everywhere and tear them apart through politics and years of prosecution until they resign too. But I doubt that will happen.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

LETS HOPE HE DID WHETHER ITS RESIGN OR FIRED AS LONG AS HE IS OUT

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

This is just another example of politics and "word of mouth" sayings tearing a good thing apart. Its just sad that most people will believe rumor and hype instead of waiting and listening for fact. Get all the facts and then judge. I have been here in this town for ten years and have seen the good and the bad, but have only judged when I see the facts. Mark Elston is a great man and a great teacher. He and all the coaches are my mentors. Some past incidents are because of " KIDS" and their mistakes, not the coaches. Those incidents have been taken care of and resolved through administration and board members without further questioning. Again for the posts about past incidents, these are the facts, get them and then judge.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

"get the facts and then judge."

That'd require an ounce of transparency by this district...something conspicuously missing even though families have begged for it for years.

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

JerryB, Have you submitted a freedom of information act request to get the information you speak of. Have you considered that some information is protected by privacy laws that prohibit their release. You're just another uninformed crybaby with little or no understanding of what the law requires and what is public information. Recommend you educate yourself and decide if you "need' the information or do you just "want" the gossip.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

NO U ARE WRONG SILVERHORN87 I HAVE SONS TOO THAT HAVE BEEN THRU HIS FOOTBALL PROGRAM AND SUFFERED HIS MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE SO I KNOW FIRST HAND WHAT THAT MAN AND HIS COACHING STAFF CAN DO TO A YOUNG MANS CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO PLAY FOOTBALL AND OTHER SPORTS. PHYISCAL HEALS ALOT QUICKER THEN MENTAL

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

If you thought they were being mentally and physically abused for so long then you should have stepped up as a parent and pulled them out or said something until you got results. Not to standby until the seasons were over.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

i did pull them out and i did go to school board multiple times and NOTHING was ever done to him, until finally this time justice has been served for all the boys he has hurt in the past both mentally and physically and or allowed others to hurt behind closed doors in his locker room where he knew about all that was going on! and warned the boys not to say a word or worse would be done to them!

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

It is childish in itself to sit here bickering back and forth. You have your points and I have mine. And neither of us will be nudged one direction or the other. Decisions will be made with or without our comments.

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only1 2 years, 7 months ago

You are flat out lying. Again, know who you are and could expose some truth's about you? Don't think you want that. Careful with your mudslinging. It could come back to haunt you.

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changetime 2 years, 7 months ago

Again Mr. Shelton sounds like you learned some over the top and real bullying of you own? Did we have these issues before you joined the staff? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution here?

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

You and many others make it sound like a concentration camp. If you feel that way and believe the stories of others then don 't sign your child up for football.

And as a side note about mental and physical abuse, you probably shouldn't let your children join the U.S. military then either.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

these are boys 14-18 years old he has abused not MEN

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

Comparing football games with teenagers to the rigors of the United States Military, lol.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

Some teenagers are already in the military before they get out of High School.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

And isn't high school about teaching them skills and lessons that they need in the real world. Well this world isn't gonna baby them, they will get yelled at if they screw up, and mommy and daddy won't be there to protect them. Teenagers are almost adults and if they don't start being treated that way in high school then they will suffer in the world. Even teachers in class rooms use the example numerous times by saying these things.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

They are indeed "almost adults". So by your standards, almost adults = treat them as adults.

I guess upon entering high school, they should be served beer with lunch, be invited to a smoking lounge, have a strip joint in the study hall, be granted unrestricted driver's licenses, etc...

Good luck with that.

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

I have dealt with several 17 year old soldiers. I can tell the ones that were and weren't coddeled. Do your children a favor, don't let them join the army if they can't take a verbal lashing.

Signed Alan Bauerly

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tongieres 2 years, 7 months ago

What a ridiculous thing to say. OBVIOUSLY you can't prevent your children from joining the military because they have to be adults to join the military...parents can't force 18 year old adults to do anything...

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getagrip 2 years, 7 months ago

Silverhorn87...do you have children of your own?

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CoachAAA 2 years, 7 months ago

I have coached athletes for years. I have played at a high level or Semi Pro level of organized sports. In all of the ordealings that I have had or witnessed with the head coach of the Tonganoxie football team have been less than desireable. The way that he handles kids or young adults isn't becoming of any coach of any program. Yes football is a tough sport and physically demanding but you still have gain respect by being classy, hard nosed, and a good role model. As far as the young adult stated in the above paragraph if your kids aren't tough enough don't have them go out is foolish and mis-directed. Their have been plenty of head coaches at the college level fired for mis-conduct and or player abuse. What we as parents or coached should not forget is that this is suppose to be about the children. Hopefully we here in Tonganoxie can get back to what it's about and get back to having a winning classy program

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mommawomma 2 years, 7 months ago

If he resigned he must be guilty or he would have stayed put. Rejoice CHIEFTAINS the students can finally enjoy football again. I have a child that has played Division 1 sports and NO WHERE along the way did they receive coaching that belittled them. His behavior is truly NOT what makes a good player. Regardless of the positive that SilverHorn feels, the majority of the Tonganoxie community knows the TRUTH about Mark Elston.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

EXACTLY GUILTY AS CHARGED! KINDA WEIRD ISNT IT SINCE HE NEVER BACKED DOWN BEFORE THRU ALL THE OTHER ORDEALS HE HAS DONE! HE ALWAYS STOOD HIS GROUND AND LIED AND SAID HE DIDNT DO IT, IM INNOCENT! WELL, MAYBE IT WAS A "FORCED" ISSUE I HOPE. THAT HE EITHER RESIGN OR BE FIRED. EITHER WAY HE IS GONE AND HOPEFULLY THEY WILL HIRE A NEW COACH THAT WILL REBUILD THE TONGIE FOOTBALL TO SOMETHING GOOD AND THAT KIDS CAN ENJOY PLAYING AGAIN

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe because there was nothing to deny with this incedent, and he just got tired of everyone screaming abuse when he talked to his players. "Yea I yelled at the kid, and your point is?"

Signed Alan Bauerly

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

I would have gotten tired of all of your bickering, and outrageous accusations long before that man left. I would have told all you people to get a life and go to heck with it. Now that he is gone i guess it is time to point the lynch mob towards someone else and work on them until they leave.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

I would have gotten tired of all of your bickering, and outrageous accusations long before that man left. I would have told all you people to get a life and go to heck with it. Now that he is gone i guess it is time to point the lynch mob towards someone else and work on them until they leave.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

My son had played for Coach Elston for 4 years. He had the utmost respect for the Coach. My son was not perfect, he made mistake on and off the field, but he knew that he could talk to Coach Elston whenever he needed to. Obviously, there are parents out there who are not happy with their kids playing time, positions, or whatever. I think parents should ask their own kids, why the coach was yelling at them. I have watched practices many times and saw the reason why the Coachs were hard on the boys. They were not doing what they were told and could have hurt another player or even themselves.

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westdot 2 years, 7 months ago

Sounds alot like the KU Mangino Case. A good coach goes down because some little dingleberry feelings were hurt. And remember a dingleberry will always be around until you wipe them clean.

A football coach with how many years gone!!! All because he took action on this little dingleberry!!!. No wonder there ate so many sex scandles in high schools these days?

If you correct the little dingleberries you are wrong. IFyou don't correct the little dingleberries, Male / Female then you might as well sleep with the kid.

No wonder teaching sucks low pay long hours and no respect.

If you make it to the upper room of education, Principal, Superintendant, and if you put a Dr of something then and only then can you remove yourselves from the daily attacts against you from students and parents. You can return fom your office and all the big books that make you feel so high and mighty.

You, All Board members, Principals, Superintendant,. are on notice. People are watching and if you screw this up And Make one man take the fall for nothing he did. Then USA Today will be calling, SFG

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

OH HE HAS DONE PLENTY HARM TO BOYS OVER THE PAST YEARS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT. FINALLY JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED AND HE IS GONE. NO LOSS TO THIS SCHOOL THAT HE IS GONE, IT SHOULD OF HAPPENED MANY YEARS AGO, BUT BETTER LATE THEN NEVER!

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

I would really like to know if any of these boys had any long term disabilities due to all of the so-called football bullying that you say he has done. I would say most of his boys grew up to be fairly respected men.

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kanfarmer 2 years, 7 months ago

Elston only wants to tell half of the story. Tell us, what else you did beside yell... or just shut up and go away. Your one less bully our kids have to deal with while there at school. A group of upset parents went to a school board meeting last year to complain about how their kids were being treated at football pratice .. The board knew then kids were being mis-treated, but they renewed Elstons contract. Why? A reporter from the Mirror was at the board meeting but the conplaints of the parent never were mentioned in the paper.
I hope the parents of the mistreated kid files a police report. It will keep Elston from Getting another job around kids.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

exactly i hope they file a report and then it goes on his permanet record! no denying that!

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

SOMETHING OUGHT TO BE DONE TO THE OTHER COACHES AS WELL THEY WERE THERE AND ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN THIS TIME AND ALL THE INCIDENTS IN THE PAST AS WELL! GUILTY AS HE IS. IF ONE PARENT IS ABUSING A CHILD AND KNOWS IT AND ALLOWS IT TO GO ON THEY ARE AS GUILTY AS THE ONE DOING THE ABUSING, AND THEY GET SENTENCED AS WELL BY JURY'S. SAME SITUATION HERE THEY HAVE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN AND GO ON AND ON SO THEY OUGHT TO BE LET GO AS WELL AND GET ALL NEW COACHES IN TO THE FOOTBALL PROGAM AND REBUILD IT TO BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS!

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

Did it occur to you that their complaints were so pitifull it wasn't worth the paper to print them on?

Signed Alan Bauerly

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wayjosey 2 years, 7 months ago

It appears you need some more school. You do not spell the word complaints like conplaints. Just because some bad words were wager against the player, I wonder what he could sue about. Also his parents thought the right thing was done and he needed to be told. Wonder how many times he told this player to not hit the quarterback, maybe he does not understand unless he is yelled at, have you ever coached? Were you on field when this took place?

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CoachAAA 2 years, 7 months ago

westdot a good coach? If he is such a great coach where is the building of talent and leadership? We are molding young adults to hopefully go on and become educated good upstanding members of society. So us educated folks have taken witness to how our kids are being treated and spoke up bottom line. I played D1 ball and no matter how you chalk it up or look at it Elston got caught putting his hands on kids again not the first time but happy it's the last.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

thank you coachAAA. so true it wasnt the first time he laid hands on a kid and treated them badly but it is his LAST!!!!!!!!!!!

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

Cancrasher...I hope that your kids grow up to be decent human beings. It sounds to me like you are a very hateful and vengeful person.

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cancrasher24 2 years, 7 months ago

no im a concerned parent whose BOYS were hurt by that program and i am glad to see that something was finally done, before some one's son got seriously hurt or killed. i have no one playing football my kids are gone but i dont want to see anyone else go thru concusions and suffer long term affects or have no self esteem left cause he was belittled. its football and its a rough sport but as coachAAA stated its done in a proper way

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

I take your comments pretty personal here... Our players are NEVER physically put in harm's way due to ignoring an injury that is reported to me. Player safety is one area that I have, and will continue to be, vigilant with. I have had MANY private conversations with coaches both here and elsewhere that didn't end very cordially, but the player's safety and health were always paramount!

I was part of the push to make the concussion guidelines into legislation here in Kansas last year. Your claim that a concussion wasn't handled correctly in Tonganoxie on my watch is false.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

Maybe your boys and football were not a good match. Someone may like football, but cant play it. Coach Elston says what he expects at the parent meetings, were you there? did you ask questions? So you are taking it out on the Coach/es and program. Did they play any other sports? I know of a lot more boys that were helped by this program.Some kids and some sports are not necessarily a good fit. If you don't like the coach or the sport, you either put up with it or you get out.

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watcher 2 years, 7 months ago

Bad news for Tongie but coach is gone.Now look to the mess at the middle school.

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westdot 2 years, 7 months ago

I cannot, but believe this is a case of a white homosapien coach giving orders to an African American male that has no respect for himself let alone any on his team. If he is a true african american then he will go back to his roots, He will learn it was not the white People but your back stabbing Black cousin that sold you .

Nuf said. Kid Apologize and get on with your life, or USA TODAY WILL BE in town yesterday

You think your coach hurt your feelings, Your name and school will go into a database that all top recruiters look at. I do know for a fact that all FB players from Tonginoxie as well as the entire town will be blackballed from any thing for at least 6 years

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Cupcake 2 years, 7 months ago

westdot, What hate in your message. Kids are not dingleberries, none of them. I agree that all educators should be aware, held up to a high standard and responsible, but to threaten and put them on notice. Mr. Elston was benched for games for his behavior just as he would a player that was in a similar situation. He QUIT!!! He couldn't or choose not to handle the situation, he QUIT. As a coach, mentor, leader and rolemodel, he clearly made a stand to show his skills, mental stability as a coach, leadership skills by QUITTING, instead of backing up his actions. One thing we should all remember, he does have a son on this team and his behavior and actions should not affect or reflect on him, he is a member of the team regardless of his coach/fathers actions or inactions.

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fourtymechamp 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes! Think about how his son feels having to hear all this about his Father. I think you all need to grow up and act like adults. Most of you are happy and have been given want you wanted with Coach Elston leaving now you can work on getting a new coach so you all can start working on getting him pushed out. Like I said . GROW UP!!!!!

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CoachAAA 2 years, 7 months ago

Well every child or young adult regardless of race religion creed or ethnic background should have the same oppurtunities in life as you westdot. It's truly amazing to me that people such as yourself still hides behind boundries of race. It's disheartning to see for some of us that fought in the military to make sure everyone like yourself has a choice of freedom or rights and then to spew the garbage you do is unbelievable. But you might go find some of those big books and read a couple do to the fact if your caught making racial slurs especially when it comes to adolescent you will find yourself behind a big stone wall without the chance to show your ignorance.

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ttown82 2 years, 7 months ago

Westdot-I shameful we still have people in america that think like you. There are good and bad people of all colors. Elston was a bully. He got caught up several times in his own power and sadly administration backed him through several other incidents that he should have been terminated. He has a losing record, he pattern of bullying kids and promoting that among his teams. (remember the incident where the upperclassment urinated on the underclassmen??), and he made the town look like trash. About time...

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

Power? What power? He is a high school football coach. Its not like he is mayor, or senator of the state or something. You talk like he is a monarch or something. And as for a losing record season, you should know that those losing seasons started right after an incident in the 06' 07' season with "students" that were tormenting and played a prank on a kid. Right before that, we had won several championships. So by my understanding, he was affected by all the political junk that got thrown his way by people who didn't know the full stories in the first place. As I have said before..... get the facts. then make your assumptions.

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tongieres 2 years, 7 months ago

That kid was my brother, his abuse and torment was very much real and damaging. It wasn't done by Coach Elston, it was done by his teammates. Elston did nothing to resolve this issue. Blaming a loosing season or streak on a child is cruel. Those are the facts. I was there, I witnessed them.. I was a cheerleader at THS at the time and seen with my own eyes the abuse my brother took. Being a bully is inexcusable and being told to suck it up and be bullied to extreme measures does not build character or prepare you for life as an adult. In fact, and I do mean fact, Tonganoxie School District lost a major lawsuit and paid $250,000 to a former student because of their refusal to step in and help put a stop to bullying. Times have changed and while this may have been the way things used to be 20 years ago, bullies have evolved and are crueler and meaner than they ever were. Rules needed to evolve with them. So we aren't confused here, this comment has nothing to do with Coach Elston's resignation, this is directly related to your comment blaming my brother, who was a child in the eyes of the law, being to blame for a losing streak. Any political fallout that Coach Elston had to endure from this was necessary. And as far as the seniors urinating on the freshman, that is called hazing. Hazing is ILLEGAL in all 50 states. It's illegal for a reason. No exceptions made for small town football teams and their coach.

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chieftain4life1 2 years, 7 months ago

Ive played for elston and other coaches every single one has yelled at a player. so saying elston is some sort of monster and abusive coach is conpletely out of context. it is from the perpective of a few parents and players that have had it out for him and jump on every mistake the man makes. When i played for him he help prepare me for not just for friday nights but life period i learned so much from his coaching and most of it was because it was drilled our heads. yelling is good especially in high desipline game like football, give me a coach that doesnt yell and is nice and ill show you a coach that will never win a game. If you want to play the game then you have take some yelling. Everything that he has been accused of in my mind has been blown way out of conxtext espsecially when i was there since the head hunt began. I hope all you parents are proud you just got rid of one of the best coaches ive ever had the pleasure of playing for. hope your proud. ill be surprised if we see a winning record for a couple years

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Yinzer 2 years, 7 months ago

Regardless of your personal feelings about coach Elston the word is now out about how coaches are treated at THS by parents. There is nothing worse than mommy’s and daddy’s who get half of the story and then spew their version of the story as gospel. (By the way we are ALL guilty of that) The administration is now in the un-envious position of finding a new coach to take a job at a school district with this reputation. Good luck with that one. If it was decided that coach Elston was to move on with his life’s work away from THS it should have happened at the end of the season in a matter of fact fashion. This is now in the paper on the broadcast news and every social network one can think of. News travels in the coaching community like wild fire. And trust me this is NOT good news. So those of you that are pounding your chest feeling the final victory of vindication I hope you enjoy your moment in the sun. The boys (and yes I said boys) that take the field the rest of the season will be required to grow up real quick. I believe that the staff will be there to support the boys teach them the game of football and skills for the game of life. I only hope that the community can show these coaches and the players a sense of real community. One last thing…. Good luck fellas. Kick some tail and take some names.

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fourtymechamp 2 years, 7 months ago

Amen! This is the place on earth I would want to Coach. The parents think they know so much why does'nt one them step up and let's see how they handle the daily chores of dealing with these teenage athletes that apparently do nothing wrong!! GOOD LUCK COACH ELSTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

JerryB, you blow these comments way out of proportion. These teens are almost adults and in most cases now days the legal court systems try them as adults. Your comments about beer with lunch and smoking lounges are childish and ridiculous at most.

All in all the kids get yelled at. Big deal. It is good for them. They are gonna get yelled at in the real world anyway whether the parents like it or not. But if the parents want them to be 40 years old and still in the basement being babied thats there decision. Football is going to stay this way long after we are all gone. Elston has made mistakes, but I don't see anyone else on this comment page having those mistakes out in public and being criticised and prosecuted for years. In fact I doubt that more than half of you people are just giving your opinions and have no proof of said things that he has supposedly done in the past. I have room to talk because I have been around it and in the situations myself. And the rumors and stories that are on here are false in so many ways. All this is, is an old fashioned posse of certain people out to get one man, because their little baby came home and said that the guys are picking on me, or that coach yelled at me and I didn't like it. WAH! WAH! WAH! Remeber the bottle is on the second shelf along with the formula.

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

To Coach Mark Elston:

I hope that these ridiculous and childish accusations have not steared you away from the wonderful game. You have made mistakes just like every other human on this planet and you and unfortunately a small amount of people know the truth. The others are just gonna make their own stories no matter what, because it makes them feel better or have some sort of accomplishment inside. I just wanted to let you know that I know what the truths are and that your teachings will always be with me throughout my life and I will teach them to my children as well. God bless you sir, and you are always welcome at my dinner table.

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BillDeWitt 2 years, 7 months ago

In the two years I worked with Coach Elston, I never saw him demonstrate anything close to the statements being made by the posters on this forum. Because this forum is anonymous, it brings out the absolute worst in people, which has been demonstrated today. Coach Elston is a fine Coach who has given twelve, dedicated years to the community of Tonganoxie. He is intense, but nothing even close to being a bully as many nameless posters have claimed.

When Coach Elston took over 12 years ago, he replaced a man who I had great respect for, but had not had great football success in the two previous seasons. The Chieftains were 1-17 in those two years and I can assure you that people were not lining up at the door to take that position when it came open. Coach Elston brought great football knowledge and a new level of intensity to the program. He yelled at me once because my receiver ran the wrong route, which is good, because it was my responsibility to make sure he went the right way. I got over it pretty quickly and am glad he had the leadership to hold me accountable. he made me a better coach.

Over the past several years, he has worked tirelessly to elevate the youth football program in the community into something that all of Tonganoxie can be proud of and that other communities should be envious of. Granted, there may not have been the wins each season that everybody wanted, but that is not a reflection of poor coaching. There are not a ton of wins coming out of any program right now, that is not a slam, just a statistical fact, which does not mean that kids and coaches are not working hard. In regards to the facilities at Tonganoxie, they are nowhere close to the “winning” teams in the Kaw Valley League and I would be surprised if any other teams in the league operated their 4A or 5A programs with only four coaches.

I am no expert, I have my own issues and my own school and you are well within your rights to tell me to stick it. I have no business getting involved in your community’s affairs. However, I am proud of the five years I had at Tonganoxie and greatly miss the wonderful students and families I worked with including Coach Elston and Coach Bond as well as many other great, dedicated teachers and coaches. Leaving the community was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. This issue, however, is personal as I consider Coach Elston to be friend and colleague and a person nowhere close to any of the ridiculous rants being posted here. He is not a bully and he cares immensely about his players far beyond wins and losses.

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Tongie22 2 years, 7 months ago

I think it is really ironic how all the people making the bold accusations about coach Elston as being an abusive, arrogant bully, hide behind a screen name so that they can verbally abuse whoever they want just as they accused him of doing. If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is. If you truly feel strong about your opinions then be brave and list your full name, and if you have ever really sat down with him and spoke face to face. These two answers would be nice instead of making up your own rumors just because your own kid didn't get what they wanted for once in their life.

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

My Name is Alan William Bauerly I went to THS from 2000-2004, and I am a 1LT in the United State Army currently deployed to Baghdad Iraq as a Fire Support Officer. I am in charge of coordinating all fire support assets for a company of infantry soldiers. I also have a beautiful wife, two children, and have a bachelors degree from Kansas State University.

It is my firm belief that I would not be wear I am today had I not meet two great teachers at Tonganoxie High School. Mr. Charles Van Middelsworth, and Coach Elston.

Coach Elston taught us about responsibility and consequences one summer when we were supposed to mow the fairgrounds every Sunday. This was supposed to be a Senior run event but I found I was the only Senior showing up. This occurred three Sundays in a row, I would show up in the morning with my families riding lawn mower and would finish in the late afternoon. One day he called all of us Seniors into his office after a summer weight lifting session. He verbally disciplined us for not showing up, and said there was only one person in the office that had a guaranteed starting position, and that was me. It wasn't because I was the biggest (that was Nick Stein), the smartest (Justan Walker), or the fastest (Billy Baska). It was because I honored my responsibility as a senior and ensured the fair grounds were mowed every Sunday. By telling them they weren't guaranteed a starting position he reinforced the "every action has a consequence" lesson. After that every senior showed up every Sunday for the rest of the summer.

During my sophomore year at THS several kids started picking on me more then usual. Coach Bond noticed my drop in performance at practice, and when he questioned me I told him what was going on. He in turn told Coach Elston what was going on and over night the bullying in school had stopped. I found out later he told the Seniors to make sure no one messed with me. I ask you, is that something a "Bully" would do? He could have easily saved himself some trouble and kicked me off the team for poor performance. Instead, he got the Seniors together and made sure I was looked after.

People yelling at people is nothing new. I can't count the number of times I have been yelled at for making a mistake. Whether it be my father for me promising to do something and not following through, or my Company Commander yelling at me for not checking a grid for a artillery target I had plotted. Did this affect my performance in a negative way? No, it motivated me to work harder and not make the same mistake. The simple fact is some people respond to getting yelled at and others respond to level conversations. In this case Coach Elston tried the level conversation and found his words falling on deaf ears. He then moved on to yelling and the young man in question learned his lesson. I am sorry but I fail to see the problem here.

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Paula Crook 2 years, 7 months ago

I have great respect for coach Elston. Coach Elston has dedicated many years to this community and to our kids. Thanks coach Elston for being there for our son!

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FRANCIS 2 years, 7 months ago

the people on hear that disagree with anything he did when it comes to teaching the players and being a good teacher of the game YOU DONT NO WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT AND PERSONALLY YOU NEED TO FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT... PATHETIC

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GunBunny916 2 years, 7 months ago

To Coach Elston

Sir,

I am very sorry to see you leave THS. It pains me to know that not only future THS students will not have the privledge of learning from you, but also my son. I wish you succes in everything you do and only hope you don't take any of the garbage that has been written on this post seriously.

Sincerly

1LT Bauerly, Alan Barbaric Fire Support Officer JSS Old MoD Iraq B CO 1-18 IN 2-1 AAB 1 ID

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FRANCIS 2 years, 7 months ago

anything negative please suggest removal

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FootballCoach 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure that a few people had a positive experience being coached or coaching with Mr. Elston in the past. I'm also sure that those people who support him will gladly post their names. You're correct that it is difficult to comment (anonymously) or accuse someone with only partial facts. Obviously these people still fear retaliation for speaking up against Elston, other coaches, and/or the school district. I can honestly say that I have coached with him over the years and I have witnessed examples of all of the above allegations of bullying, forcible intimidation (to both players and parents), threats, nepotism, inexcusable verbal and physical assaults - all conduct unbecoming of any professional high school coach. I personally have received his many purposely intimidating and threatening phone calls, watched him taunt and bully players into quitting, mentally and verbally retaliate against players after his advances were rejected by single mothers etc. I know members of previous coaching staffs, including myself who have turned and looked the other way at times because of the fear of retaliation toward the players and coaches alike. (Some coaches have even walked away from these programs due to these issues) Unfortunately it has gone on way too long and as we all know is time for a change. Many parents, students, business owners, and school district personnel talk daily about the instances and the abuse of authority that has taken place. His unacceptable behavior has even been criticized PUBLICLY at times by his wife and children. Realize that the school board did not FIRE him for this ONE detrimental instance, although this verbal assault and physical battery on this player was worthy of just that. It's truly a shame that he was allowed to negotiate this immediate resignation - just to keep his future resume unblemished. Don't get me wrong...I don't think of him as a horrible person, but in my opinion, he is in no way fit to coach any youth sports with his hidden agendas and Napoleon Syndrome.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

OK Football Coach...too bad you wont leave your real name.

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afhurla 2 years, 7 months ago

I graduated from THS long before coach Elston. I haven't lived in the Tongie for years, so I don't really know whats happening around town.

However, as an athletic trainer, like Mr. Padfield, I have been around athletics for a long time.

Don’t hit the QB: The reason the QB’s ware the off color jersey is so they don’t take blindside hits. 99% of the coaches I know would have reacted in much the same way as coach Elston. They would have verbally disciplined the player very rigorously.

The FB Field is Unique: Football is an emotional game. Things get said in ways that aren't appropriate in casual conversation: words are exchanged, manhood is challenged, and players are pushed physically and mentally. For an outside observer it may not seem healthy. I am not criticizing who filed the complaint. However, I do feel they did just get “a snapshot” of practice, from across a four lane highway.

Coaches have their own Style: I have worked with a lot of coaches. They all have their own way of doing things. Some coaches who never raise their voice. Some coaches relish in personal confrontation. Some motivate and encourage, some discipline, drill and run. Coach Elston, from what I’ve read, is a high intensity person who pushes and challenges his athletes. That is his style, for good or bad, that's how he works. In my experience, when a coach stops getting on an athletes case or stops pushing him or her, is when the coach has given up on them.

Why now?: If he was so bad WHY did the administration (multiple principles, superintendents and school boards) renew his contract 10 times? If a situation like this, a complaint , lead to his suspension, then they shouldn't have renewed his contract last year. Why resign? Simple, he didn’t have the admin’s support. If they're going to second guess a coach's daily operations, including disciplining players, then the program is built on sand and will collapse. If Elston didn’t have the administration’s support for this, then what would happen if something really big happened.

Parents: If Elston is an abusive coach, why let your son play for him? He’s been at Tongie for over 10 years. If you didn’t know what type of coach he was you were not paying attention. Or you though you could change things. THS offers a lot of very good extracurricular activities, athletic and non-athletic, that your son could participate in and still have the success and character building opportunities that football also offers.

Community: What do you want in a football program? That is the most important question of all. Wins? A good opportunity for young men? What are you prepared to do to make it better, besides complain? What will you accept or tolerate for success?

I worked in the south for several years with HS football. This incident with coach Elston would be considered “business as usual” down there, another day at practice.

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free2besweet 2 years, 7 months ago

Now that he resigned I think he should do what he required his players to do when they could no longer take the abuse he bestowed upon them.

With the entire community circling him he should have to take the walk of shame up to a bucket in the middle of the crowd, remove the rock he's been forced to carry every day from his pocket, drop it in the bucket, then turn and face the community and state "I, Coach Elston, am a QUITTER!!!" (as the community laughs and jeers at him).

In this instance, however, I'll grant him a pass. I'm so pleased he's gone that I can do without the public humiliation he bestowed upon his players.

Just glad he's gone.

Goodbye and Good Riddance!

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silverhorn87 2 years, 7 months ago

I hope you get the same treatment that he has had to put up with some day, and then see what remarks you have to say afterwards. I will bet a years wages that you are basing your opinions off of what someone has told you. Then again, I don't expect too much out of people like you that are shallow and have nothing better to do with their lives except thrive off of drama.

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free2besweet 2 years, 7 months ago

Silverhorn (whom I suspect is Elston),

You don't have a years wages to bet anymore!

Enjoy watching from the bleachers.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

Oh how childish and pathetic your post is.

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bettyboop65 2 years, 7 months ago

I KNOW that if Coach Elston wanted to post something on here he would put his name is BOLD CAPS to make sure that you would know who he is and what exactly he wanted to say....

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dmac 2 years, 7 months ago

Coach Elston is a great guy and even better person. He runs a very good program. The person who went to the superintendent was a 4th grade parent and has some friends who are very outspoken about Coach Elston. (go figure) I really think this guy's name should be known so he can be critiqued just like Coach Elston. I know Coach Elston personally and I have coached with him several years. My personal insight on Coach Elston: he is a very passionate football coach. His practices flow. Nobody standing and watching, he gets as many kids working as possible at one time. His teams are always organized and play with emotion.

I also know he is crushed about being released from his coaching duties. People have no idea how bad this affects coaches and their families when they get talked about in the newspaper, on the streets, in the communities, at the grocery store, etc. Coaches are human and are trying to do the right thing with our kids.

Hey I got an idea, lets allow coaches/teachers/administrators to post things on here anonymously and just blast parents about the poor job they did raising their kid. Why not??? Some of you get on here and think because your name doesn't show up you get the right to sit behind your computer and say anything you want.

With him not coaching anymore, Coach Elston and his family will go and watch their son play on Friday nights sitting in the stands. He will be with some of the same people who wanted him out. (awkward???) And those people will smile at him and put on a show. It's really sad.

In closing, I think we need to stop and really think about how we treat our high school coaches. They put countless hours in for little pay and then in these times like Coach Elston, get talked about on every media station in the surrounding metro area. Coach Elston will bounce back or just become a parent and watch his kids play. Whatever the case, he is a winner in my book.

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CoachAAA 2 years, 7 months ago

dmac

What I don't understand is this. I didn't grow up in Tonganoxie. I grew up in a 6A district and went thru winning programs that won state champoionships. We weren't babied, truth be told we went thru a nightmare. But that nightmare didn;t include treating our players that had talent and contributed like a star and treating the others like they expendable. I will take a kid with heart any day of the week over a kid that is arrogant and has talent that won't get him past a few years of High School. Tonganoxie under Mark Elston has never been able to build or mold talent, if he had some gifted players he would ride that wave all the way to the end. I have coached against Mark Elston and thought he was an arrogant pompus adult that whined like a little kid when he got beat. I've watched his practices and have seen first hand how he treats his players(All of them) and I am glad that my kids go to a different district or else I would have probaly been in jail by now. I think the general public is split in the opinion of Mark Elston but i would like all of the facts out to be viewed so they can form an honest opinion instead of the jaded one sided stuf their use to getting concerning him. I hope he lands in an inner city school and see how his actions fly there.

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

"I am glad that my kids go to a different district or else I would have probaly been in jail by now." Kinda limits your credibility when discussing using restraint to deal with a situation like this one...

Coach Elston is a passionate coach, no doubt about it. He is emotional. He is proud. He is most importantly an advocate for his kids. He is also, like all of us taking the time to post here, not perfect. However, he got more talent out of a kid than they realized they even had the potential for. I don't know how many seasons I thought to myself, "This may be a very long season!" And, somehow he managed to get those kids to pull together and win games they had no business winning on paper. These last few seasons, the ones everyone is focused on, those kids never gave up and stopped fighting. Pretty amazing when you are constantly losing and the bleachers are all but empty towards the end of the season.

Before becoming an athletic trainer I too coached. I coached everything from junior high to NAIA. I worked with many different coaches. Since becoming an AT I have observed coaches from all levels of competition. Coaches all have unique styles and different approaches in their bag of tricks. And, kids respond to many different things. Some kids need to have their egos stroked, some kids only respond to a more aggressive coaching style. I never felt I needed to step in, or blow the whistle, because he was out of line. I am not there for every minute of contact with the students, I take care of the other sports as well, but I am there for a majority of them.

--Continued due to length--

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

I had seen Coach Elston try many different approaches with this particular kid about his actions. He tried the softer methods first, they didn't work. I don't care who you are or what you do, you don't just turn the dial up to ten right off the bat... well, you don't if you want to keep your job for very long. Coach Elston was here for 12 years... many of you posting here weren't around to see how he truly handled the kids on a daily basis. I am a parent, I will fight tooth and nail to protect my kids, but I also know that sometimes... well sometimes, I am not getting "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," from them.

Society has shifted from "Quitters never win, and winners never quit," to "The world owes me!" Yes, he did make it hard on kids that wanted to quit. But, look at our society. It is entirely too commonplace for people to quit anymore. No one works for anything... divorces are the norm instead of the exception, we live in a welfare state because it is beneath some people to work at a low level, blue collar job, everyone has a sense of entitlement.

I guess I think it is okay to teach a kid that he/she needs to work for things. Sometimes life isn't fair. Taking the easy way out is usually a bad decision. And, no one owes you anything. At least I hope my kids learn those lessons before they get to the "real world" where no one cares about their feelings and they are suddenly held responsible for their own actions. I imagine that none of you get a blue ribbon just because you clock in on time everyday...

I probably shouldn't be posting about this subject at all, but I think it was the right thing to do. I did not mean to offend anyone with my comments if I did. But, there were some posts made by some pretty bitter and angry people that just don't accurately reflect what I have seen on a daily basis over the last six years. As I said, I may have missed some things, but I also have seen a lot more than many of you have concerning his day-to-day dealings with our students.

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only1 2 years, 7 months ago

Bingo Padfield! Bingo... The people that went to the board last year are some of the same people on here now and those people could have had a libel suit slapped on them very easily. I've seen 3 of the 4 letters written to the BOE and Coach Elston and they were completely fabricated because "Johnny" couldn't hack being yelled at. Plain and simple. Coach Elston wasn't always the most political person, but the world needs more people who will look you in the eye and call it like they see it. I have the utmost respect for anyone who teaches/coaches today's youth. Many can't even properly parent at home, but want to come on here and criticize someone else.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

I so agree...At least my son and his friends that played for the Coach, earned their respect.

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elite808 2 years, 7 months ago

to all you cry babies that have nothing better to do but complain about how coach Elston is a bully, you need to get over it. ITS FOOTBALL FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! do you think that Mark Elston should just give out daisies and gum drops out to the players everyday? haha! NO. football is a mentally & physically tough sport. if you can't take being yelled at then turn in your uniform and go try out for Volleyball. 

it cracks me up to see all these parents trash talk Elston. He is taking time out of his day to coach the football team. he stands out in the heat Monday-Friday for more than 3 hours a day. so if you don't have anything better to do, THEN YOU DO IT! SINCE YOU THINK YOU'RE SO MUCH BETTER THAN ELSTON. SO COME BABY THE FOOTBALL TEAM, so when it comes to game time, the opposing team will RUN all over us. 

-THS Student.

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only1 2 years, 7 months ago

Awesome THS student! Thanks for sharing... Many people don't recognize the time and energy that these coaches, trainers, and athletes put in. Many who are bashing them never played the game. You can't be a baby and play the game of football. I know how hard Padfield and the assistant coaches work. I know that they treat the kids like young men and are there for them in tough times and it angers me to hear people attacking them. Really angers me. Not very many people in this world that will put in 25 extra hours a week on top of their 40 hour weeks for less $3-$4,000 dollars. They are there because they want to develop kids. What have you done for a kid lately?

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changetime 2 years, 7 months ago

This from the guy sitting in his classroom blogging all day in stead of teaching his kids. Not to mention If I remember right Mr. Shelton didn't you quit coaching basketball because it took to much of your time?

Any coach that coaches, doesn't do it for the money they do it for the kids. They never complain about the hours and pay, but the impact they have on their student-athletes.

And when you get to a season with only 15 upper-classman and the constant complaints over the years then you have to look at the coach.

I agree Mr Elston had done some very good things but he has made some mistakes too, in fact I respect the fact that he didn't drag the issue out through the week and just ended it so the kids could move past it and focus on the task at hand. I wish his staff could do the same .

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

Dear Changetime...What is your name? You pointed out Mr. Shelton, yet you are still post as as changetime.

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dmac 2 years, 7 months ago

Something to think about: What do you think happens at the following schools with the following coaches??? Do you think they sweet talk the kids???

Gardner-Diener Hutchinson-can't remember his name Miege-Grunfeld

Padfield, I like your insight on this situation. If anyone knows, you do. Thanks.

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CoachAAA 2 years, 7 months ago

Padfield

What I was alluding to was that if another adult put his hands on my child I would love for him to try that with a parent or another adult. Were argueing a mute point the coach is gone. You an say what you want abut him and everyone is entitled to their opinion. I will bet you or anyone here that has any sense that any high school or college program is a well run and disciplined doesn't have coach's putting hands on kids. Plain and simple. The yelling screaming and even the cursing I agree is normal in most cases. But when you put your hands on players it all stops. And as far as my credibility I live in the community just like you and probaly have the same set of friends. I served in the Marine Corps and have a wife and children just like you. I don't disagree on alot of the points that you have raised I just state what my personal experiances were with the coach.

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Cupcake 2 years, 7 months ago

My son and a few classmates that I am aware of did not play football because of the coaching staff. That was their decision or their parents decision. They choose not to put themselves on the team for personal reasons. That does not make them good or bad, just people with fore thought. However, students who sign up to play, should give 100% for the whole season. I do however, know Mr. Elston personally and cannot say he is a good/bad person but I do not always agree with his opinion, coaching or life philosophy. Therefore, my son does not play football. My only issue is that he QUIT, as a man/coach, stand up and show you team, school, fans, parents, school administration and most importantly your players that you stand up for yourself and what you are coaching good or bad. Hopefully, when Mr. Elston and his family come to watch his son play football, let's all respect him and his family and allow him to enjoy his family and the sport that he loves. Good luck to the Elstons with the rest of the year. They are above all still part of our community and should be treated as such.

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rleverett2000 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree...He still deserves respect.

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katblu 2 years, 7 months ago

Wow, lets blame it on the victim and not the bully. Elston was quick to say what the student did but did he say what he did? NO, he had no comment. I feel sorry for this child, he's getting blamed for something that Elston did. Elston and anyone else has no right to blame this student for Elston's actions. Which evidently was bad enough for him to have to resign.
Also this boys family needs to step up and get behind him and stand up for him. Yes, maybe he tackled the quarterback, its football, it happens, but did he deserve what happened to him. NO. WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM THAT WAS SO BAD THAT YOU HAD TO RESIGN ELSTON? PLEASE, TELL US!
Thank god this time someone seen it and turned it in. Quit sticking your heads in the sand people. stick up for your kids.
Elston's been the coach for to long, it's time for a change.

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elite808 2 years, 7 months ago

Elston has been the coach for a long time because of DEDICATION.
and Elston has nothing to prove to anyone. I honestly do not blame Elston for quitting. Why should he stay if he constantly trash talked by parents. Why would anyone want to coach the football team with the ignorant people that he has to put up with?

WHY DONT YOU JUST SIT IN THE BLEACHERS IN WATCH THE GAMES. bango.

but i hope Bond holds up to your god like expectations. ohh snap. wait, im sure that someone will complain about him too.

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wayjosey 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Katblu, reading your statement tells everyone that you know nothing about coaching in high school. You say this is football, so even tho the player has hit the little QB several times and has been told to stop. What you are saying it is ok for this 230 player to hit a QB (probably when he was not looking ) which probably weights 125 soaking wet. The coach was trying to protect this little one and the big one did not care whether he would hurt him or not.........if I was coaching and I had told him several times not to be hitting the QB, and he did........there would not be another problem with because his gear would be taken away............all the things I have read makes me sick.......too bad the administration is not like it was 40 years ago........

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tongiefootball 2 years, 7 months ago

"Jules Boudreaux told The Mirror he thought Elston responded in the correct manner"... If you read the artical it would help... Pluse all you bad mouthing coach elston and the football team you need to wake up. All you see is what goes on Friday night. Not all the summer weights or 7 on 7 or 2 a days when it is a 100 out. And all the parents that say coach is a bully you should see the effort that your kid puts out compared to Jordans effort. The only side of the story your getting is from your son that doesnt what to be there or put out the effort to play friday nights. And if all you keyboard super heroes blogging about something that your not even apart of or were there and seen it or herd it. Your really brave. I want you to come say all that in front of the team in one of the practices and see how it goes. And for all the consern parents out in the community who are worried about the kids mental and physical health need to try out for cross counrty or vollyball. If they cant handle getting corrected when the screw up majorly aren't going to do very well in the real world. Are they just going to quit there job because they screwed up and there boss yelled at them. Or are they going to nut up and take it like a man and move on with life. Because of someone not even part of tongie football we lost the best coach and ROLE model tongie has had in a while.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

This entry is perhaps the best exemplification of why the emphasis placed on sports/games here in Tonganoxie, at the expense of academics, is so horribly exaggerated and misplaced.

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Padfield 2 years, 7 months ago

I stand behind every word that I have posted here. I would gladly speak with any of you in person about my experiences; not to argue the point with you, just to inform you of what I witnessed. I have not hidden behind an anonymous screen name; you all know who I am. I believe in transparency when possible. I guess that was my mistake. For those of you that called the board office today, you win. I am done with this internet discussion after this.

When I look back on my life from my death bed, this won't be something I focus on for long. Coach Elston will not be able to say that. I was just trying to give my perspective to the attacks on his character. Once upon a time people would take their complaints to the source, not try to get someone in trouble because they don’t agree... I am not talking about Elston now. I don't really want to know who is behind these screen names, most of you are townspeople and I like waving and being cordial with my neighbors. You know who you are, I don't. But, that is okay. I know who I am, and that is much more important. I have not attacked any of you, have tried to be respectful, and have tried to be rational. I was raised to do what was right, and felt that my experiences needed to be shared. They have been... Let’s move on and let these kids have as close to a normal season as they can at this point.

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JohnBorgenjorg 2 years, 7 months ago

I recommend everyone on this forum read "Remember Why You Play," by David Thomas.

http://www.rememberwhyyouplay.com/

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TongieAlumni_x3 2 years, 7 months ago

Within my family there are three generations of Tongie Alumni. Within those generations we have been on the field as, band, drill team, cheerleader, and varsity players. For years and years we have watched coaches come and coaches go. But never have I seen such an undeserved "witch-hunt" as this. Let me put all emotion and opinion aside and get down to the brass tacks.
1) Coach Elston is the coach, who is responsible for the development and safety of the players, 2) Coach Elston had the QB wear a designated color indicating that he was NOT to be tackled. 3) Jordan tackles the player wearing the NO TACKLE jersey. 4) Coach Elston repeatedly indicated verbally to Jordan he is not to tackle anyone wearing a NO tackle jersey. 5) Jordan ignores all verbal instructions of Coach Elston and tackles the player in a NO TACKLE jersey from behind. 6) Coach Elston pulls Jordan off QB and corrects him.
7) Those with an axe to grind see this as opportunity to pounce on Coach Elston

It appears to me like Coach Elston is in a NO WIN situation here. He has tried and tried to talk to Jordan about his inappropriate tackles, all of which were ignored. He sees his freshman QB take another unnecessary and dangerous tackle by Jordan. Should he turn a blind eye? AND,- IF he had NOT corrected Jordan, and the next play Jordan repeated his inappropriate behavior, hitting the NO TACKLE player in the middle of the back again, causing life altering injuries,...... who would be blamed then????? I will tell you. The very same people that are whining about how abusive Coach Elston is, would be the very same people who would be screaming,..... How could he have let this happen to that poor boy?

A handful of bitter, controling, hateful, people have thrown their little tantrums, altered the carreer of a fine coach, and disrupted the season for the entire football team. The truth is that most of our community stands behind Coach Elston. Saddly, the BOE stood by and allowed the "squeaky minority" to throw Mark Elston under the bus. All I can say is VOTERS,..... REMEMBER THIS NEXT ELECTION TIME !!!!! If the BOE will not have the back bone to stand up for what is RIGHT , then, VOTE THEM OUT. !!!!!!! Coach Elston, I am sorry this happened to you. I wish you well.

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JerryB 2 years, 7 months ago

I think many people understand that coaching football calls for tough love. But you say "what else was he to do" after the culprit repeatedly tackled the quarterback?

How about pulling him off the field after the first couple of times he didn't heed the instruction? Allowing him to continue to tackle the QB over and over until the coach apparently snapped is not effective coaching.

The tackle should have been benched before this was allowed to happen for the third or fourth time.

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bettyboop65 2 years, 7 months ago

Bravo Bravo.... Its sad witch hunts are still around after 100's of years

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JasonGraf 2 years, 7 months ago

I normally don’t do this but after I was told about all of these comments and read them, I wanted to chime in.

What is being missed in all of this is the kids. There are a group of young men that have to move forward with a football season and we, as a community, should be doing nothing but supporting them. No matter what, they are the most important factor in the whole situation.

I want to reach out to two young men in particular: to Jordan, this situation is not your fault! Learn from the situation and tonight go out and knock the snot out of somebody for yourself, your team and because that’s what Coach Elston would want you to do! And to Garret, I know how hard it is to play for a parent and now to have to be in this situation as a player and a son is very hard. I know you personally and know how great of a young man you are, so tonight go out and lead your team and be great for yourself and your team. As for your Father, he is always going to be your coach but now you and he get to embrace the bigger and much greater role he has in your life as DAD! You will be very grateful to have him as DAD on game nights much more than you ever will know!!!

As a side not here, I spent the better part of 20 years as a coach and I knew there were going to be very few constants. The three I always knew would be there are some kids will love me, some kids will hate me, and most of all everyone in the stands will second guess me. I have seen firsthand in Tonganoxie how the rumor mill and the gossip hounds can make someone feel so bad they won’t go to the grocery store or fear going to watch their children play sports in town, for the sneering and the finger pointing directly effects their kids. So to Coach Elston, we have only ever spoken in passing. I don’t know you but do know as a coach, we all make mistakes that we would love to have a chance to do over, but as far as watching your kids play tonight you are welcome to come stand with me and know you have a comrade through your personal tough time.

Jason Graf

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bettyboop65 2 years, 7 months ago

A Big WOW for Jason Graff one of the most wonderful things I have read through all of this. Second CONGRATS to the Tonganoxie Chieftains what a wonderful win for you boys last night. Ive never seen the team come together as they did last night. I am proud of all of you. Third I HOPE that EVERYONE in the stands saw what our boys did when they started to walk off the field together holding hands. They saw THEIR COACH and attacked him with hugs, tears, and I love you... It was amazing and tearjerking to see.... Watch out of the next board meeting I do believe it might be filled with wonderful young men that want their coach back...

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Old_Vet 2 years, 7 months ago

What is the policy on the use of profanity by coaches, teachers, students and staff at USD 464? I didn't witness the outburst against the young player. I have witnessed profanity on several occasions while waiting at practice to pick up my grandson. I believe the baseball coach two or three years ago was released for using profanity after several warnings. I could be wrong, if not then why should Mr. Elston be exempt from that standard? How many times has Mr. Elston been warned? He might be a great guy, he may truly care about his players, but if he can't abide by the rules what kind of example does that really provide our kids? Perhaps Mr. Elston was just too close to the principle and superintendent in previous years for these people to act objectively. Regardless, Mr. Elston resigned, he chose not to fight the accusation and potential dismissal. To me, that speaks volumes that there was much more to this incident than has been revealed in a short article. I have to defer to the new guy from Lawrence and trust that he and the principle mutually agreed as did Elston that this was the right thing to do.

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getagrip 2 years, 7 months ago

Congrats THS football players. Shows the spotlight should be on the kids and not the coach.

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tshelton 2 years, 7 months ago

We were in the stands Friday night, and saw the love displayed for Coach Elston, what a shame these boys had to go through this. Our son, played football for 4 years, and trust me, there were times, the players needed repremended on the field, but they continued to respect their coach. If these parents are so knowledgeable, then surely they feel qualified to apply for Coach Elston's job, then I'd like to hear from them again @ the end of the season. I think all of you need to walk a mile in his shoes, before you continue to bash him......

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bettyboop65 2 years, 7 months ago

I just wish there was a way to get this resignation pulled and Coach Elston go to the board meeting with his football boys, which they most likely will be there in their red jersey, and fight this so Coach Mark Elston can return to where he belongs, on the field with his kids.

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tshelton 2 years, 7 months ago

I went back and reread all the blogs, and I think it's pitiful, that adults don't have anything better to do than complain about a coach, when our world is going to hell in a handbasket, DO SOMETHING POSITIVE WITH YOUR TIME

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bettyboop65 2 years, 7 months ago

Well all I got to say now is :)~~~~~~ to all of you that dont know what they are talking about...Coach Elston will not slip away quietyly in the night...Friday night proved that...He will figure out a way to stay involved with Tongie football...and I am glad of it....Way to go Tongie football team and way to go Coach Elston..

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tongie_people5 2 years, 7 months ago

Yes, it is kinda funny that he would get suspended over this, considering he has never been before for all the things that have gone on in the locker room. I truely hope that the school will take their time and look for a coach that kids would want to play for. A coach that doesn't make the kids feel belittled, ridiculed, or worthless. A coach that doesn't make racist remarks in the locker room or encourage the players to have their girlfriends make them feel better after a loss. A coach that will actually listen to what the players have to say. You see, I have had 2 boys go through the football program. They played because they loved the game and had to tolerate the coach. They watched as many of their teammates dropped off the sport because their disrepect of the coach made them not enjoy playing the game anymore. I have always wondered why no one questioned that a huge freshman roster turned into a sparce roster when that same class got to be seniors. Football is a great game--our whole town enjoys it. We go to watch even tho the odds are stacked against us. I will pray that the opportunity that is facing the decision makers now, will result in a coach that we can be proud of.

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