Then Singleton told the school’s football coach, a history teacher named Richard Russell, who’d been coaching for two decades. Russell had played basketball and football in high school, and he loved sports. But he preferred giving up the team to shutting down the whole district. He told Singleton to do whatever he needed to do, then walked over to the gym and told the basketball players, who were waiting for practice to begin. At first, the students didn’t seem to understand. “What? Why?” asked Nathan, then a junior and a quarterback on the football team. “Would you rather have sports or school?,” Russell replied.
Out by the tennis courts, Daniel, a junior who was in line to become a captain of the football team, was waiting for tennis practice to start when a teacher came out and delivered the news. Daniel went home and texted his friends in disbelief, hoping there had been some kind of mistake.
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