On Oct. 11 in the school cafeteria, Chris Reimers Jr. informed senior lineman Josh Lomoro that the Reimers twins didn't need the offensive line—they could win without it. Seven players reported for practice that afternoon. Most of the others reported to the house of another player. Upon learning of their boycott that evening, Chris Reimers Sr. stormed into the Lomoros' house and, according to the Lomoros, chewed out Josh and his mother.
"I felt like nobody else was doing anything to keep football going," says Reimers. "I'm the only parent in this godforsaken town that cares about football on the varsity level. If the kids over at that house had told the truth, that Mr. Reimers is over there trying to get the team back together, my life would be easy. But now my name's been slandered and my kids are suffering and my business has dropped. I'm worried that this is going to hurt the kids' chances of getting athletic scholarships."
The next day, minutes before the 3:15 p.m. practice, the boycotting players approached Seager and demanded that he rein in the Reimerses or they would not suit up. Seager knew Reimers had gone too far, but the coach had had enough. "If you don't want to play football, then don't," he snapped. "It's that simple. We can talk about Reimers later, but right now it's time for practice. I'm sick and tired of having to treat you like a bunch of children. Make your choice."
The players walked. School administrators canceled the football season the next day. The cheerleaders stripped all the GO BEES! posters from the high school's halls. To prevent violence, police escorted Corey and Chris Jr. out of the homecoming dance after the soccer game on Friday night.
"I'm just sick about this," says Seager. "I still hope we have a team next year. I still want to be a coach. But if the kids here don't have confidence in me, I can't. It's going to take a lot of healing."
And perhaps something more. Newspapers across the country were printing a quote from Chris Reimers Sr. that appeared in the local newspaper, The Herald-Palladium. "My kids were the best kids on the team," he said. "The rest of them are a bunch of spoiled little wusses."
The old-timers in high school football coaching, just like everyone else, cringed. And wondered if Chris Reimers Sr. had just found a sorry way of spitting out a small grain of truth.