DALLAS -- 'I'm against domestic violence because I wouldn't want anyone treating my mother like that,' David Banda said.

'I'm against domestic violence because real men respect their women,' Roman Sanchez said.

Banda and Sanchez are two Dallas Adamson football players who have taken the pledge to stop domestic violence. Christian Conde and Joaquin Bustillo are two more.

'And mine said, 'I'm growing up to be a man, and men stand against domestic violence,'' Conde said.

'It divides familes and multiplies problems. And then, I had #BeTheChange,' Bustillo said.

This campaign started at Adamson with head coach Josh Ragsdale, who has not experienced domestic violence first-hand, but has seen its effects. Ragsdale e-mailed all of his players and asked them to take the pledge, and then get a picture of them holding it while wearing their game jersey.

'Because I see it all the time in the kids that we teach,' said Ragsdale, who has been the head coach at Adamson for four years. 'A lot of times, when you just sit down a young man and ask what's going on in their lives, you're going to hear things that you're shocked [by.]'

The coach has reached out to the coaching fraternity, and the response has been immediate and overwhelming. Players for other teams are all taking the pledge; their pictures can be seen on Adamson's Twitter and Facebook pages.

'It's just, it's wrong,' said Conde, a senior wide receiver. 'Even us, we know it's wrong. And we just want to get that message out to everybody.'

We haven't even talked about how the football team is doing this year, which is kind of the point. The lessons these players are learning go far behind the wins and losses.

'And in the process of winning and losing football games, you've got the opportunity to do that,' Ragsdale said. 'And if you're not doing that as a coach - if you don't see and grasp those opportunities and run with it - then you're not doing a service for these kids.'

We did our interviews with Adamson at a bowling alley, where about 60 players worked as volunteers for a Special Olympics tournament.

'They see us as superstars,' said Bustillo, a senior defensive back. 'I see Cowboys players doing the same things. I look up to them, therefore it's like them looking up to us.'

The Leopards are 3-5 this year, but that doesn't come close to telling the story of what their season is about.


Read or Share this story: