Coaches are forever preaching the virtues of life's lessons that are learned from football. Sometimes it's lip service, sometimes it's genuine.
Other times, as in the case of Poughkeepsie, N.Y
., coach Ken Barger and senior linebacker Justin Richardson
, it possibly helped save a life.
Richardson, 18, is being called a hero today after helping break up a hallway attack by one Poughkeepsie teacher against another that included multiple stabbings of the head, face, chest and back with a screwdriver.
According to the Poughkeepsie Journal
, Ronette Ricketts, a 40-year-old English teacher at the high school, was charged with first-degree attempted assault and second-degree assault, as well as fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, for her attack last Thursday of 54-year-old teacher Cynthia Glozier.
Glozier was reportedly in good condition on Monday at Poughkeepsie's Saint Francis Hospital, where she was treated following the attack. In part, she can thank the 6-foot-0, 220-pound Richardson and his poised course of action that it wasn't worse.
"During a tragic and shocking event, to have a Poughkeepsie football player make a life-saving decision like that is amazing," Barger told MaxPreps.
"As a coach, we constantly preach character and making the right choices. Usually we see the results five to 10 years later in their adult lives. To see Justin make a decision, to put himself in harm's way for someone else really gives our coaching staff an incredible validation. He has made us all proud.
"We try to teach our guys to be like firefighters," Barger added. "Firemen race into places that most people are usually racing out of. Justin did just that. He fits my definition of a hero."
According to the newspaper, Richardson had just come from an earth science class when he witnessed the hallway attack and helped break it up.
"I put my hands in between (the two teachers) and separated them," he told the Journal. "I put my arm against her (Ricketts) and gave her a decent shove and pushed her into the corner."
Richardson also "tried to knock the screwdriver away from (Ricketts). It flew out of her hand."
Though another teacher also tried to intervene and school security eventually took control, Richardson expressed disappointment in the way others reacted - or didn't react - to the incident.
"There were a lot of people there," he told the paper. "They just stood around and watched the whole time.
"It's really disturbing," he added. "(Teachers are) supposed to be our role models. But I was the one who had to step in and be a role model."
Jim Stout is the CBS MaxPreps Media Manager for the Eastern
U.S. He may be reached at 845-367-2864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.