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Words, maturity lacking at finish

Published: Mon, December 2, 2013 @ 12:03 a.m.

It’s not often Western Reserve coach Andy Hake is at a loss for words.

After Saturday night’s 14-10 loss to Glouster Trimble in the Division VII state semifinal, the Blue Devils’ fifth-year head coach sat slumped down in a chair just inside the home team’s locker room at Red Devil Stadium in St. Clairsville.

Hake sat there looking at the ground just a few feet in front of him, but his thousand-mile stare said he was anywhere but there.

As he sat there, motionless, the Blue Devils players took off their equipment about as quietly as their offense had played for the 48 minutes prior. For the 11 seniors on the team, it would be the last time they ever took off that uniform.

Gathered outside the locker room were grandparents, parents, siblings, friends — anyone associated with Western Reserve High School — and there was hardly a dry eye to be found. Same could be said for inside the locker room.

One of the seniors, wideout and defensive back Danny Rosati, walked outside, still in uniform, and was greeted with a hug from two children. In the game, Rosati had three catches for 25 yards to lead the Blue Devils in receiving.

He knelt down between the children, posed for one last picture, and walked back inside the locker room — past a still speechless Hake.

For a man who appears to have more energy than most elementary school kids at recess — he’s known to dive in the snow with his team after games and even runs around the stadium to pump up the crowd — Hake was barely even blinking as he sat in the chair.

He may have been quiet then, but it was what he said just minutes after another heartbreaking loss in a state semifinal that speaks volumes to his, and Western Reserve’s, character.

As Hake stood and addressed his players on the field, as he does after every game, he looked them in the eyes and said, “I have never been more proud of a group of young men than I am with this group right here.

“Young men don’t always act mature and grown men don’t always act mature. Unfortunately that’s the way life is.”

What his brief message to his team was referring to were the actions of some associated with the Glouster Trimble football team as the players took their final kneel-down to end the game. These “adults” were decked in old Trimble football jerseys — presumably from their playing days however many decades ago — and sporting Mohawk hairstyles dyed in the school color red.

It’s understandable to show some excitement after your alma mater wins its biggest game in school history and advances to its first state title game. However what’s not understandable, or even acceptable, is for grown men to go running around the field yelling and screaming, leaping up and down, all while players of the other team — kids I’ll remind you — lay facedown on the ground next to you in defeat.

A rather heated Hake, who ran over to console his players, voiced his displeasure to, what appeared to be, a member of the Trimble coaching staff. That led to a few choice words from both parties, but it was those words that Hake used with his team just moments later that rang true.

It was also a reminder that sports can bring out the best and worst in people.

Actions always speak louder than words and perhaps the “adult” members of Trimble’s ‘Mohawk Mafia’ could use a reminder of that.

Unfortunately they missed a perfect example of it when the current Trimble players shook hands and hugged the Western Reserve players as they walked across midfield after the game.]

No, these “adults” were too busy acting like ... well, I’ll let you be the judge.

Kevin Connelly is a sportswriter for The Vindicator. Write him at kconnelly@vindy.com and follow him on Twitter, @Connelly_Vindy.


1shellylackey(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago


You can check out this article to know the feelings of what Andy Hake feels he suffered was far less compared to that of high school boys he ridiculed and said nasty remarks to.... remarks such as calling high school muppets with Kool-Aid, ragamuffins, and even remarked loud enough to our coaching staff and captains to hear him scream at his team if they lose to these Kool-Aid Muppets, he is quitting tomorrow and handing in his keys. Andy cussed at our coaches, and this article is very interesting in that it is NOT okay for us to wave a tomcat fan at the 50 yard line after the win and getting to go to the championship, but it is okay for Andy to jump in snow after a ballgame. Shame on him for celebrating after his win when the other team is around. Sounds to me like he is classless and the fact that SCC people was commenting on his nastiness.
I hope you and Andy get it right soon. As I stated in the email, find me at the State Championship Game and I will buy you a coffee and we can have a good conversation.

Oh, and let me mention one of the assistant coaches bashing Trimble at the State wrestling meeting. I wonder if he knows he picked a good buddy to Trimble. CLASSLESS!


Shelly Lackey

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2iggy25(1 comment)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

You seriously have to be joking, right? Barely any players or fans celebrated dancing on the field. The fans that came on the field came on the track and the players went into the crowd to hug their community and their families. Understand that coach Hake acted as a classless moron. He taught everyone a life lesson. He is lucky to still have his job today. He promised he would quit. Trimble fans and players did nothing wrong. You should show some class as well. We all know why you wrote this article. Grow up. Coach Hake has no respect from anyone on this side, surprised he has any on the WR side. Should be fired.

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3SEOhiofan(2 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

This article is a joke!!!!

If your coach wants to talk about maturity ask him about all the things he said about Tue Trimble Tomcat football team.
I can't even believe this article was written.

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4walter_sobchak(2720 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Just like Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story. After reading the published story from the Athens newspaper in Comment #1, this event now is easier to understand. If Coach Hake did say those things on the field, within earshot of the opposing team (i.e., the comments were made to be heard), he got what he asked for. Those comments are suitable for locker room pep talks, amongst the team/family. Once you are on the field, why give the opponent the ammo to use against your team? This is unfortunate as, once again, a game played by young men is ruined by the adults who have not grown up.

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5MLC75(661 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It sounds like Coach Hake is a sore loser.I have seen other teams celebrate in the same way,as Trimble did.

Coach Hake should man up and accept defeat,the better team won that day.

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6BJSchumacher(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

OH .......MY.........GOD!!!!! This so called "mature" coach belittled OUR team for a full week before the game, and even stooped to name calling. If he can't take the jubilation from the fans of a team who outplayed his boys and who won the game fair and square, then he has no business being a couch. Our people were simply celebrating, as I'm sure Blue Devil fans would have done if the tables were turned. Shame on you for trying to whip up even more resentment among the Western Berlin team and fans. I'm sorry to tell you this, but telling lies to spread ill will is just about as immature as it gets!

AND ANOTHER THING!!! What the heck were those poor boys doing lying face down on the ground????? Didn't their coach instill a sense of pride in them? They should have been standing up straight and holding their heads high!!!!!!! They did the best they could and that's what counts!

I figure you were under a lot of pressure to write something negative after the game. Guess you couldn't find anything bad to say about the team, so you attacked the fans.

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7Max(98 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

As a Mahoning Valley resident who was rooting for WR, only because they are from our area and we should support each other, I am greatly embarrassed by both the behavior of the WR coach, and by the writer of this "story". Congratulations to Trimble on the win, and good luck in the state championship. On behalf of our area, I apologize for these shameful actions. I assure you, most Valley residents would not condone this behavior.

Hopefully other Youngstown-area coaches and teams remember that you are representing our community to other areas of the state. Do us proud.

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8mommak2000(1 comment)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It is sad correct information is not in this article. Being racist doesn't always mean black and white. Adults need to be held accountable for their behavior and Mr. Hake's behavior was nothing short of racist! The school should be ashamed for having someone like Mr. Hake on their staff and they should hold him accountable for the racist remarks he made. Just the kind of image I would want for my

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9BJSchumacher(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

FYI......There is picture of Andy Hake with a red mohawk floating around Facebook. Has he jumped ship?

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10shellylackey(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

To everyone:
I can appreciate your posts on here. I am having a hard time trying to sort out this article and the foundation of it all. But, at last I did figure it out. On Twitter, Mr. Connelly tweeted the whole game, except for one little hiccup with the excitement from the Auburn/Alabama game. In the tweets, NOT ONE NEGATIVE REMARK, which I did check for. In the first article written on 12/1/2013, Mr. Connelly wrote a pretty good article depicting the game and outcome. On 12/2/2013, this article was published. So is this a retaliation from the Athens Messenger article written by John Arkley? If so, maybe you just lost your credibility within your own community.... As John Maxwell explaines, you cannot have 50% integrity/credibility, you cannot have 95%, you either have it or you don't. Sounds like you need to reevaluate what you stand for. Check out JJHuddle even back as far as October 19, 2013 and see the kind of man you just wrote about. Sad to say the least.

As far as the Mohawk's let me educate everyone as to why our boys did this. Kish's (#5) mother Amy, who is a wonderful person beat breast cancer. Amy Kish kind of mothers ALL THE BOYS ON THIS TEAM AND LOVES THEM ALL IMMENSLEY. During the breast cancer game, they all got Mohawk's and dyed them pink to represent their love and compassion for everything Amy has done for them and for our community. The term Mohawk mafia was coined, only after breast cancer month ended and the boys grew accustomed to showing support for their community so they dyed them red. They visit folks from our area who are in nursing homes, and visit little children in their home. They walk down the halls of our elementary school every Friday when they are released, just to give high-fives and encourage kids to be the best they can be. So as you can imagine knowing the Mohawks originated for high school boys showing support for a mother of a player who beat breast cancer is something we pride ourselves in. Next time you see something as out there as the Mohawks, maybe instead of calling names (which should have been stopped at age 3-4), consider the meaning is far greater than your understanding.

It was a good game, right to the very last second. This article has seriously taken away from the accomplishments of BOTH schools making the playoffs this deep. I am saddened that you allowed a man of little reputation get you to write an article of this ridiculousness.

Again, I do thank the people who are understanding of this article.


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11BJSchumacher(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Well said, Shelly, well said.

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12ronfri07(2 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I find it quite amusing that not one person of those who commented actually heard the remarks and as far as I can tell neither did the reporter for the Athens area. This reporting and comments were from 2nd and 3rd hand sources. I think the many comments about this article goes directly to the Vindicator's story. One should be careful what they say or print when one does not hear the comments first hand. Trimble won the game and their players acted with dignity. I could address the issue with your coaching staff but why it serves no purpose. Remember it is fun to celebrate and have fun, but also sportsmanship is not to be trampled in the process. The Mohawk Mafia also may not be the Most Appropriate Name just saying. Working with Coach Hake over the last four years, he has always been a pleasure and more than anything, Coach Hake has always been respectful and honorable in all his work with myself.

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13tomcatsupporter(1 comment)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Connelly, I read your article referencing maturity within the football fans during a state semifinal playoff game and found your comments horrific.
Your comments attempted to under mind the love, compassion and pride that a small community has for a group of young men that have put their hearts into their sport.
You mentioned adults wearing perhaps old football jerseys from years past. Apparently you did not wander around during half time to notice similarly dressed adult fans from the Western Reserve home benches.
As a member of the media, you only goal should be to present factual data. That data should obviously be complete and impartial. I do believe you apparently missed class during the week when impartiality was discussed.
Without knowing the historical data behind the Mohawk mafia, you should have either asked, or kept you pathetic comments to yourself.
Unless you are writing for an opinion trash mag, your article diminishes the integrity of your paper, not to mention any integrity that you may have worked for.
I may not be a resident of Trimble, but I am a fan of the work this team and community has displayed during this teams epic journey.

Jim C

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14walter_sobchak(2720 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I read the article from the Athens paper and it contains direct quotes (note the quotation marks in the story) from Coach Hake. Anyone that has been around him while coaching knows he is loud and brash with his team and gets the most from his players. But, the comments should not be made in public while warming up for a game. Totally inappropriate. I thought he was bigger than that kind of behavior.

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15shellylackey(3 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

With the locker rooms right there with the restrooms, it was a matter of timing for what could be heard, but still heard all the same. Ronfi07, you should read the tweets from this sports writer. Very unprofessional to say the least.

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16BJSchumacher(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Hey Trimble fans........This is now stale news. Let's concentrate all our energy on backing our Mohawk Mafia and forget about this unethical writer and the rag he works for.

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17epuskas(13 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

You can disagree with a writer's opinion, but that doesn't make a writer unethical. That is not a word to throw around haphazardly.

Kevin Connelly's column is just that ... an opinion piece. Any reader is welcome to agree or disagree with Kevin's column or even the other column mentioned in some of the comments.

Please recognize that a column is an opinion and just the fact that you might not agree with the writer's viewpoint does not mean the writer did anything wrong.

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18daneenv(2 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree this is stale news and also appreciate epuskas' post. Everyone has their opinion of what happened and are entitled to that opinion, just as WR fans have their opinion. But the town of Berlin Center knows the real Andy Hake and his wonderful family. He stands beside us in church, graduations, funerals, school and family functions, etc...the good and the bad every small town goes through. Animated on the sidelines? Yea. Loud? Sure. Quirky? Certainly. Passionate about the sport and his team? Absolutely. In my opinion, did both Coach Hake and Faires innappropriately let their emotions of the game get the best of them? Yes, but them apologize for it and move on....

Best of luck to the Tomcats this weekend!

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19BJSchumacher(5 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago


A week has gone by since the Trimble "Muppets" defeated the BCWR football team. Last night our Trimble Tomcats had the opportunity to "walk a mile in their shoes". And, oh yes, they did it so well. After the game, our team stood up tall and proud. No lying face down on the ground for these boys. They knew they had put everything they had into the game, and accepted the outcome with heads held high. And we, Trimble's fans, did not stop cheering for our team just because things didn't go the way we wanted. We all were so proud of the team's accomplishments this season, and let the boys know it. When Marion Local received it's first place trophy, Trimble's team and fans joined together to give them the applause and respect that they deserved. Not ONE of Trimble's coaches sat on a chair in the locker room not uttering a word for over and hour. And, the next day, OUR local newspaper reporters did NOT find it necessary to degrade the winning team's fans with outrageous lies. Yes, we were all disappointed, but we conducted ourselves with pride and dignity. And THAT, my good men, is what you call class.

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