GJHS football players want coach, assistant fired

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Six Grand Junction High School football players are speaking out, saying they want their head coach and an assistant fired.

Head coach Mike Sirko has been involved in coaching for 41 years and came to GJHS in 2016. The student-athletes said because of that experience, he doesn't change anything up.

These problems became public in a now-deleted Facebook post from Camden Dottson earlier this week. He alleged several issues, ranging from conditioning and practice schedules to certain coaches holding vendettas and dismissing players, like Dottson, who don't listen or asked for changes.

"Others had terrible treatment as well," Dottson said. "They asked me to leave several times and I wasn't staying where I wasn't wanted."

The group said their reaction has been met with support from the GJHS community.

"A lot of parents and friends in the community have had my back and a lot of them support me having a voice and voicing what I believe in," Dottson said.

They said their complaints though have gone unanswered.

"We've talked to the district [athletic director] and a bunch of very high-up people in high-up places in the district. Nothing has been done," said Jared Chapman, another football player.

In spite of what some may think, the group says this isn't a battle between old school and new school.

"I've always respected my hardest coaches," said football player Martin Huff. "But the way they go about it is different."

"I feel like a lot of players are not going to come back and play if something doesn't change," Dotson said.

What district officials can say is limited due to privacy laws regarding students, but the did issue the following statement.

“Following 40 years of coaching Colorado high school football, Coach Mike Sirko arrived at the start of two tough years of losses on and off the field for Grand Junction High School.

Not all parents and players have agreed with Coach Sirko’s decisions as he set out to improve team culture and emphasized the importance of education over sports, but he set standards based on what he believes is best for each student and the rest of his team. All District 51 athletes are expected to go to class, get good grades, and follow the rules laid out in the athlete’s code of conduct.”

A district spokesperson said there have been no complaints made with the district’s human resources department about Sirko. He has not responded to requests for comment.

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