Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

High school footballers disciplined for pub drinks

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A handful of football players at Oak Park High School is performing community service and serving lunchtime suspensions after drinking beer in a pub on their recent trip to Ireland.

The team went out for dinner at a pub, superintendent Lawrence Lussier said Tuesday. "It did happen that a few stayed a little long -- three or four had a drink," he said. "There was no one that was completely intoxicated."

Oak Park's Raiders football team raised funds last school year to be one of a dozen Canadian and U.S. high school teams to play games in and around Dublin on the Labour Day weekend as part of a weekend highlighting a U.S. university game between Notre Dame and Navy.

When word got out about the beer-drinking, the team immediately got together and consulted the principal, Lussier said.

"The kids were grounded from (touring) activities for one full day and missed one practice," he said.

No one was sent home, and no one was benched for the football game, nor have there been any consequences for the current high school football season.

"The situation did not merit that. That was the decision made with the principal," Lussier said.

The legal drinking age in Ireland is 18.

"These are high school kids -- they were underage," Lussier said. "Do underage kids sometimes get a drink in a Winnipeg bar? Oh yeah."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 13, 2012 A12

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