Maple Grove hockey coach, principal to discuss 'higher standards of expectations' for athletes

  • Article by: PAUL KLAUDA
  • Updated: January 23, 2013 - 8:15 PM
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Maple Grove High School head hockey coach Gary Stefano

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

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Maple Grove High School’s principal and hockey coach plan to speak Thursday about “higher standards of expectations for student athletes’’ in the wake of last week’s suspension of 13 hockey players.
 
The players were suspended for at least two games each after an investigation into an incident at a home in mid-December. The district said last week that a "thorough investigation'' found violations of the Minnesota State High School League's code of conduct.
 
Head coach Gary Stefano, principal Sara Vernig, and Wendy Loberg, who provides system-level oversight for athletics, will discuss how the school plans “to move forward to promote positive leadership and set a higher standard of expectations’’ for the school’s athletes, said Barbara Olson, District 279 community relations director, in an e-mail sent Wednesday.
 
Since classes resumed on Tuesday, “staff has engaged in planning for the future,’’ the e-mail said. Olson said the officials will talk about a “preliminary plan of action.’’
 
Stefano was placed on administrative leave with pay for about a day last week while the district conducted an investigation of the team. He was reinstated Friday evening after missing the team’s game with Blaine on Thursday night.
 
The suspended players included more than half of the team’s varsity roster. Most received two-game suspensions, while “a couple’’ of them were given four-game suspensions, Stefano said last week.
 

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