We teach our young football players to work hard, play harder and to win and lose with dignity. But we can not always cast a larger shadow than the pro athletes that they aspire to emulate.
McClendon was ejected from a playoff game on Friday for doing Newton’s “Superman” touchdown celebration semi-dance after he scored.
The charge was unsportsmanlike conduct and the penalty was pretty harsh.
Having coached youth athletes I understand why the rule was enforced.
However, at the high school level the kids are not pampered by coaches, fans, opposing teams or their own boosters.
They can handle an opponent showing out a little bit.
The sad thing is that apparently McClendon is a pretty good kid.
His coach Jeff Caldwell told the Charlotte Observer that he was just living in the moment.
“It’s a good learning experience for him,” Caldwell said. “With him being in the position he’s in, he should know better. He’s a young kid. My kids have never been in a situation like this before. I’m just happy for Jalan and that it came out all right.”
“I’m glad he wasn’t severely punished for something where he was just having fun. He’s not the taunting type. At Tennessee (team camp) this summer, they were always asking ‘Why don’t you get excited?’”
The good news is that McClendon will get a chance to play again in this weekend as his team marches towards a state title.
Jalan can ball by-the-way. Check out a video of his highlights below.