HARLEM SHAKE: Suspended Mound-Westonka seniors scrimmage - New York News

HARLEM SHAKE: Suspended seniors scrimmage one last time

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Dancing the "Harlem Shake" cost six Mound-Westonka seniors a chance to play in what turned out to be their final hockey game of the season, but a spirited scrimmage on Wednesday soothed some of those wounds.

It's a series of suspensions that the superintendent came to regret -- but while those student athletes can't get the game back, their coach is trying to give the team some closures.

Over the past five days, there has been so much outrage, frustration and sadness that the focus has largely remained on what lead to the suspensions. On Wednesday, the hockey coach turned his attention to the memories left behind, and said that's why he wanted to leave a positive one.

On the surface, the scrimmage had the look and feel of a real game. Looking closer, the smiles and joy on the faces of the players warmed the ice.

"This is my family right here and I couldn't be happier to be on the ice with these guys one last time," said Jack Brandsetter.

A total of six seniors -- Brandsetter, Kyle Luehmann, Charlie Curti, Jeremy Schulz, Blake Brady and Andy Seats -- were kept from competing in their last game, and they admit they all thought they'd never wear their jerseys again.

"Never been more excited," said Seats. "It's a great feeling."

When Coach Doug Runke told the boys to suit up for a fun game against each other, they gladly seized the chance to move forward.

"It's great. I can go out there one last time, go out in a positive manner," said Schulz.

As he watched the boys have a blast on the ice, Runke said he felt they couldn't have handled the situation any better.

"After the incident happened, we said, 'If you want to have a voice, you better talk to people with respect. Go about it the right way,'" he recalled.

Fittingly, with just seconds left, a goal was shot to tie the game, leading to one final shootout. The team finished by saluting the classmates who came to watch the scrimmage and support them through the ordeal.

"The support has been phenomenal," said Seats. "It's great to see the community come together just for us."

Although the boys are moving forward, they did say that while the apology at Monday night's meeting was appreciated, the school has not delivered everything they had hoped.

"We were cheated and things need to change," said Curti. "It's a step in the right direction."

In the meantime, parents say they want to see the results of the investigation. They also say they have a list of expectations which include the removal of the academic suspensions from the boys' records and they do want the activities director -- who authorized the suspensions -- held responsible. They also hope that the school will conduct a full investigation of any wrongdoing before handing out a suspension in the future.

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