Middletown High School football coach, Lance Engleka resigned after receiving violent death threats, after his team lost eighteen straight games. Coach Engleka, states “the online death threats, threats of physical violence, personal and deceitful attacks from parents and community members, and verbal abuse leveled against myself, my family, and my coaching staff have devolved into an unsafe environment which I refuse to tolerate” These threats arise from parents that have athletes on the team. Many schools have no connection between coaches and parents on the field, but they do, off the field. Having the connection with parents outside of the sport, influences them to play their child more. Having a small town also, allows the community to get involved very easily. For example, our hometown Oceanside, is large, yet our football team has a huge reputation.
Having a large community allows many people to input their opinion. Every game hundreds of people come to support the team. Engleka states that “winning and losing at the high school level should not be a life-threatening situation.” Playing on a high school football team should be a memorable experience. Many people in the community are shocked. For this to happen at the high school level, where there is such a community feel, is not the norm. In the big leagues, professional athletes, and college athletes, get harassed on social media after bad games as well. Engleka states that he will keep his position as the dean of the school. Engleka wants to use this as a lesson, that high school sports should be a friendly and interactive experience that you will remember forever.