JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - The play-by-play voice of the St. Louis Blues, Chris Kerber, recently went online to vent his frustrations about an incident involving his 9-year old daughter’s soccer team. He said it was another example of a lack of respect in youth sports.
"When you saw the actions that happened you knew that respect was not involved and that's what bothered me,” said Kerber.
Kerber said his daughter’s team and two others had reserved half of the football field at Windsor High School last Friday to hold a scrimmage and to practice. The other half of the field was being used by the Junior Owls, a club team that’s not sponsored by the Windsor High School Owls football team or the Windsor C-1 School District. However, one of the high school’s assistant coaches is a coach for the Junior Owls and the high school head coach was attending the team’s practice at the time of the incident.
According to Kerber and other parents in attendance, one of the Junior Owl coaches decided he wanted to use more than his portion of the field. Witnesses say the coach kicked over the orange cones marking the 50-yard line and then moved the football players 5-10 yards onto the other portion of the field. Kerber said none of the football coaches asked permission, nor would talk with the soccer coaches or parents about their actions.
"And in this case, it was about sharing the field and making something work that was better for all the kids and there was more than enough space to do it. What really fired you up was the respect factor that was not shown,” said Kerber.
He posted a video online about the incident which has been viewed nearly 10,000 times. Afterword, the principal at the high school invited Kerber to a meeting which also included the high school’s athletic director and head football coach, apparently in an effort to right the wrong.
News 4 reached out to superintendent Dr. Joel Holland, who released this statement:
“The District was notified early Monday morning of allegations related to events that transpired Friday evening with two groups that had reserved and were utilizing the District football field. This was not a Windsor C-1 event, nor are the Junior Owls Football team a District sponsored activity. Nonetheless, the District has been actively investigating the incident in order to make appropriate determinations and takes this matter very seriously.
We take great pride in our District and in how we interact with others and ultimately in how we teach our children as it relates to cooperation, respect, sportsmanship, and all matters that are related to character. We look forward to resolving this issue and turning this conversation into a positive discussion about sportsmanship at all levels and are optimistic about the change that can result when groups and organizations work together collectively.”
Kerber said he applauded the district’s response to the incident and hopes this can be a learning experience for the coaches and the athletes. He said he’s also been contacted by several area youth leagues who want to use the incident as a lesson on respect for their athletes.