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Posted on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Ann Arbor schools will hire new football coaches before planning community service for Huron and Pioneer teams

By Pete Cunningham


Huron High School football captain Kevin Yang, in the center of the above picture, and Pioneer captain Aedan York issued a statement on behalf of both teams regarding the brawl.

Chris Asadian for

Editor's note: The article originally stated that former Pioneer assistant coach Vincent Wortmann "tackled" former Huron coach Cory Gildersleeve. The language has been changed to more accurately reflect what reports have described.

The Pioneer and Huron high school football teams have committed to performing joint community service projects following their on-field brawl in October, their captains told, but district officials now say that won't take place until each program is under new direction.

According to the follow up incident report included in Ann Arbor Public Schools’ investigation into the matter, Huron athletic director Dottie Davis Pioneer athletic director Eve Claar, former Pioneer coach Paul Test, and former Huron coach Cory Gildersleeve and captains from both teams met on October 16.

According to the report, the group discussed possible community service projects, such as working at the Salvation Army soup kitchen, Alpha House homeless shelter, clean ups on the campuses of both schools and working youth football clinics together.

Both Test and Gildersleeve have since resigned from their coaching positions.

On Monday, district director of communications Liz Margolis said neither team has performed any community service together to date. However, both Davis and Claar will plan it once new coaches are hired.

Pioneer captain Aedan York and Huron captain Kevin Yang issued a joint statement in response to the fallout from the brawl between the teams following their game on October 12.

The entire statement reads:

To the Ann Arbor community,

Our names are Kevin Yang and Aedan York, and we are the captains for the Huron and Pioneer high school football teams, respectively. As captains of the two teams, we felt a compelling need to speak up and have the player’s voice be heard. The unfortunate incident on the night of the 12th of October, 2012, is not one that will be forgotten easily. Many people have been hurt by this incident, but in the weeks that have ensued, apologies have been issued, and discipline has been served. Our programs are in the process of healing, and we are ready to take the next step in recovery. However, each time we are about to land, our progress is pushed back by the continued berating of our coaches, teammates, and schools. Together, we would like to ask the community and to join us in our recovery, by focusing on our positive future. This single event has overshadowed so many other positive activities taking place within our schools. However, we look ahead to our joint community service projects, in solidifying the strengthening relationship between our two programs. We thank you wholeheartedly for your support.

Kevin Yang, Huron Football Captain
Aedan York, Pioneer Football Captain


Pioneer quarterback and captain Aedan York, left, did not play against Huron due to injury and is believed to have not participated in the brawl. file photo

Yang, a junior running back/defensive back, and York, a senior quarterback, are not believed to have participated in the brawl. York had his arm in a sling and was on the sideline and Yang participated in Huron’s season finale against Westland John Glenn the week after the brawl.

Both declined to be interviewed to discuss specifics from the brawl or plans for joint community service projects.

As a result of the brawl, several players from both teams were suspended for one game. Gildersleeve and Test were suspended for two games and Pioneer assistant coach Vincent Wortmann was fired for his use of force to separate Gildersleeve from Test.

The brawl began when Wortmann ran over and shoved Gildersleeve after Gildersleeve was allegedly pushing Test during the postgame handshake. Gildersleeve has denied pushing Test, which is in conflict with the official referee’s report from the incident. The Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office decided not to press charges against Wortmann after determining that there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (Wortmann) did not act in lawful defense of Pioneer Head Coach Paul Test.”

Both coaches resigned at their respective postseason team banquets. Neither job has been posted on the district's job board.

One Pioneer player who was academically ineligible to play in the game versus Huron but participated in the brawl was kicked off the team. Also kicked off the team was injured running back Bashir Garain, accused of swinging a crutch and hitting a Huron player.

Garain, 18, has been charged with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, which are felonies, and two counts of assault and battery, which are misdemeanors, for his alleged actions. Garain pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday.

Two more Pioneer players are expected to be charged as juveniles in the matter.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Fri, Dec 14, 2012 : 1:40 a.m.

I find it ridiculous that would put these students' statement in another article about the brawl. Did they not read the statement. Why doesn't cover some winter sports. I haven't seen any wrestling, swimming or bowling results. I have seen plenty of Women's Basketball.

Pete Cunningham

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 : 7:28 a.m.

The students sent the letter to with the intent of having it published, which was verified before doing so. As for winter sports, boys and girls basketball will be the main sports we cover as I'm sure you've noticed, but we still will report on big stories as they happen in other sport and amp up day-to-day coverage during the postseason as we did with sports other than football during the fall season. Here are some links for day-to day coverage from our partners at of Washtenaw County for the above mentioned sports: Wrestling: Swimming: Boys Bowling: Girls bowling:

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

In sixth grade, our entire class of boys was punished for playing tackle football in 18" of fresh powder snow. It wasn't really tackle - you couldn't run - and the deep snow made falling fun. It was more like "push down into snow". We had to each write 500 word essays (with a pencil) on the dangers of "tackle football", and spend two weeks of recess sitting near the school entrance on the very cold tile floor. I notice this letter is only 200 words, and there hasn't actually been any other punishment. Way to send a stern message, in a very serious matter, AAPS!


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

You should just see somebody about this. It seems to be a lingering issue.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

When push comes to shove, the doer will pay the price depending on the severity of the crime. You got what the administration said you deserved. Pioneer is getting what they deserved, new coaches and community time to boot.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

The high school players should be punished for what they actually did, which was far more serious than 6th graders playing in the snow. Sorry you couldn't grasp the comparison.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

It seems like whoever did this to you was a clown and you are very bitter over it, but it doesn't mean that these boys should be punished for some asinine thing that happened to you.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

I like the captain's letter and if they are willing to step up and show leadership and move forward with community service projects, I'm willing to step back as a member of the Ann Arbor community and Pioneer Track/Cross Country alumnist and watch their recovery progress.

Pete Cunningham

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

The article originally stated that former Pioneer assistant coach Vincent Wortmann "tackled" former Huron coach Cory Gildersleeve. The language has been changed to more accurately reflect what reports have described.


Wed, Dec 12, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

Doesn't matter. Everyone is getting a new coach, Pioneer a new principal who does not hold anything back or so I hear and community service. Great news. Let them all make up stories as we get back on track for next year.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

Spoken by two fine young leaders in the Ann Arbor community. Well done men. This is a brilliant idea and one that could put this incident far in the rear view mirror. The goal will be to learn to respect each other as not only football players but as friends and citizens of the greater Ann Arbor community. This isn't a punishment as some commentors have mentioned, this is a building block to a new and improved rivalry. One where the students can compete hard on the field but respect each other after the game is played. Hopefully this will not be just about community service but also learning what sportsmanship really means. This shouldn't just include the football team either. Sportmanship needs to be learned and lived by members of all athletic teams. Seeing how these two young men have handled themselves leads me to believe that they are certainly on the right track.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

New coaches and a new Pioneer principal. Plus community time as well. Great news to hear.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

I like the sentiment of the letter, but I think using the term "recovery" is a little over-dramatic.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

The community service meeting was October 16th. Why wasn't something planned immediately?? Now all of the Seniors and both Head Coaches will not 'benefit' from this team-building exercise. Very disappointing move by both Dottie Davis, a veteran who should know better, and Eve Claar, who although new to the position, could have used this opportunity to show her strength in leadership and set the tone for future issues.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

"However, each time we are about to land, our progress is pushed back by the continued berating of our coaches, teammates, and schools." It looks like they are trying to be the victim, instead of accepting that they have earned some scorn, and that they must work to overcome the bad judgement.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.

...these 17 year old kids you mean? Yep, they are not perfect, but given your post, they may be correct on this.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Allowing the teams to do their service together just makes it like a big off-field practice and greatly diminishes the impact of any punishment. A big joke, with lots of hah hahs. Team members should serve their punishments individually.

Charles Curtis

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2 p.m.

I think it reflects well on the coaches in spite of a few poor decisions they made in how these students are moving on. I am disappointed in AAPS in general in how they want to delay the community service that everyone seems to have committed to. If the actions that took place were not reflective of the philosophies of the district, then the community service would not be something that would be put on hold. There must be some leadership in the athletic programs to carry forward with this. What exactly are the priorities here, finding new head coaches (which will take several months if the past is reflective of the time for the search) or making the most of this teaching moment? Or is the community service just talk to make the district sound responsible, and hope everyone forgets about it (until next year).

Jim Mulchay

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

In general I agree - the community service could proceed without new coaching staffs. However, there may be significant benefits in waiting to the new staffs, since they are going to be expected to set the course for their programs.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Well done, gentlemen. That was very classy of you and bespeaks the existence of another more positive culture among your peers.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

So when is AAPS going to cough up that video so the public can see what really happened? Why do they continue to obstruct?

Pete Cunningham

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:52 p.m.

It's different because it's on school property during a school sponsored function and the video and information being FOIAed is school property and involves staff members and students. There are child protection and staff protection laws that make it a little more difficult to obtain information than if this happened some place else.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

You see things on you tube all the time.Fights ,stealing arrests,etc that involve kids.Why is this any different?


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

They won't. It is a matter of privacy due to the fact that the ones involved are under 18. Child Protection Laws at work here. Good luck getting that video.


Tue, Dec 11, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

After reading this wonderful letter from the two captains, I surely hope that the adults don't hinder they desire to do something that would be totally awesome. Thank you to the two and for the rest of the players on the teams that wish to make a positive out of a strong negative. Please work with this young people to insure that it happens.