Updated: Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011, 6:23 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011, 3:38 PM EST
New Canaan, Conn. (WTNH) - In a move that has a community up in arms, an 8th grade football coach had his players set their third place trophies on fire.
The New Canaan Black football team finished its season in early November after losing in the semi-finals. A couple weeks later the players and coaches gathered at a teammate's home to celebrate the end of the season. However, the celebration took a different turn after parents presented the team with third place trophies and the coaches had the players go to a park and set the trophies on fire.
The trophy burning at a public park in New Canaan was made public a few days ago. It has outraged the community and forced the three coaches to resign.
"What an example," said Robert Celetti. "I mean what kind of man is this, that blew my mind all together, completely."
One of the coaches apologized to parents and players in a letter sent out last weekend, admitting they made a "mistake," he wrote, "While our message was intended to be positive, it was a mistake to carry it out in this way and for that we would like to apologize."
Many in town are worried about the message the trophy burning sends.
"That if you don't get first place or second place it doesn't count," said Eileen Boehme.
Police are not pressing charges for the trophy fire. Officials tell News 8 the coaches had a fire extinguisher on hand so only a small patch of grass was burned.
"I think it's silly," said Boehme, "a trophy's a trophy, a win's a win, and it makes no sense."
There have also been allegations that the coaches had the team practice in unsafe conditions. The Fairfield County Football League will be investigating that allegation as well.