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9/27/2013
Character matters

Winning is great, but it isn't what matters most.

The important part is to be a good winner, which means being a good person.

A Utah high school football coach understands that and, as a result of his coaching, his team does, too.

Football Coach Matt Labrum of Roosevelt, Utah, suspended all 80 members of Union High School's football team a week ago because he didn't like who some of them were becoming.

He knew who was cutting class, disrespecting teachers and not receiving high enough school marks, but he couldn't identify the culprits behind cyberbullying. But suspicions that some football players were bullying, combined with the other behavior, wasn't what the coach wanted the team to be known for.

After last Friday's football game, Coach Labrum had all of the players turn in their jerseys, and told them to show up at 7 the next morning for the opportunity to redeem a spot on the team. The coach passed out a letter titled: Union Football Character.

The team is scheduled to play a homecoming game tonight. But it hasn't practiced this week; its members have been doing community service instead.

Or, as the coach intended, building character.

Coach Labrum has shown one football team and all who heard about his recent actions with his players that it takes good character to make a real winner.