16 players kicked off Trask football team


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Submitted: Tue, 09/24/2013 - 3:44am
Updated: Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:04pm
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ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — Trask High School has been playing short-handed for the last few weeks after dismissing 16 players from the varsity team. Now some of the boys are speaking out saying their punishment is unfair.

For seniors Sam McFee and Jordan Davis it doesn’t get any better than strapping on their helmets and playing for the Trask Titans, but that privilege was taken away from them nearly two weeks ago.

McFee and Davis say their coach heard they and 14 of their teammates witnessed a fight and did nothing to stop it, so he kicked them off of the team.

“It basically ruined my life,” Davis said. “I wanted to play football in college, and I just want to be a part of the team, and for him to say that, it hurt.”

McFee said, “He was just like, ‘We’ve got your name, and we’re going to turn it into (Principal Tosha) Diggs and (Athletic Director Ed) Gilroy, and you probably know what happens from here on.’ I cried, because I love football so much, and to just be kicked off, it was overwhelming.”

Since neither boy was involved in the fight, they were blindsided by their removal.

Now both players are hoping for the ultimate Hail Mary in an attempt to get back on the team.

“I would do anything,” McFee said. “I would run six miles every day. I would do bull in the ring. I would do anything just to get back on this team.”

“Football is my life,” Davis said. “If I could get back on the field, even if it’s just for one more game, I just want to play football.”

Trask football coach Glenn Sellers could not comment on this story, because it is a school matter, but he did say he would have the players still on the team ready for their game Friday against Wallace-Rose Hill.

55 Comments

  • Guest1234567 says:

    What they should have the boys do, instead of kicking them off the team, is have them start some kind of anti bullying/ fighting campaign. or just have them do something positive. Some of the boys could have gotten scholarships as their only way of getting into a college. With our economy the way it is now its getting harder and harder for some to continue their education after high school. But all this is just my own opinion. Everyone has their own and that’s part of what makes us unique. But to be honest they probably would have still gotten in trouble for trying to help. The school system isn’t as justified as people think. I have know people to try and stop a fight resulting in getting in trouble for being part of it.

  • GuestLorraine says:

    I agree ditto:”Athletics are EXTRA-curricular and no one should be allowed to play if they don’t follow the standards set forth by the coach. “

  • Hoggard guy says:

    I use to play at Hoggard, and in 1989 we had 9 players arrested for trespassing the night before the New Hanover game. All players involved were dealt with buy the coaches, team and the court system. I don’t have a child at Trask or maybe I would feel different. I just wonder if the players were watching 2 guys drag race on a pubic street if the coach would have done the same thing? I also heard the coach asked the players individually if they were there. Not a single kid lied! So that is a positive thing, but it turned negative for them.
    Some of these kids I am sure football is their only outlet and identity. Now he may have created a bad situation for more students, teachers,and administrators than you would think!
    The bad thing is some will find a new identity and good luck getting the truth so quick next time.
    This could’ve been handled by punishing them with a single game suspension or 2. Or maybe extra laps crabbing, locker room cleanup.
    I just feel it may be a way out for what appears to be another terrible season

  • Rebecca Bischof says:

    This was handled all wrong, I do not agree with the decision to kick these boys off the team. I personally know some of these boys and am the mother of a graduated Titan Varsity player, I have cheered for these boys for four years. The decision made was based on an arranged fight, both boys who fought agreed to fight, no one was attacked! This happened off school grounds and after school hours! You can’t govern what these boys do on their own time and all of you that have commented that they got what they deserved are dead wrong. Pender county in my eyes is a poorer county than the surrounding counties, many of these boys depended on their high school football careers to get them to college and this was just taken away. To those who commented that they got what they deserved for not stopping the fight, you have all done something like this in your life! I know for a fact that one of the boys kicked off was only there because his ride was there, did he argue or complain when kicked off? No he took it like a man and has tried to come up with a new plan on how he’s going to have to earn a scholarship to be able to go to college. These boys should not have been kicked off the team this was extremely harsh, I could understand maybe being benched for a few games but not this. Coach Sellers has always supported his team and his players as individuals but in this case I don’t agree. To the person who commented that the team is winning without these players and that the coach and the team doesn’t want or need them, well that comment was mean, spiteful and uncalled for! COACH SELLERS DO THE RIGHT THING!

  • Guest45 says:

    Coach was 100% right in this, but when you look at some of the news and you see a beat down by a couple cops on a citizen and 5 or 6 more cops stand around and watch knowing it is not right it makes it awful hard to teach kids right from wrong.

  • really Pender County? says:

    When my son was bullied, Pender County Schools did nothing about it. Spending some time in juvenile program was their solution because a child double in my child’s size physically punched and threw him around. The school board stated that by him pushing back and walking away was were my son went wrong. He should have screamed for help for the teachers…. Whom NEVER came to help!!!! Come on Pender County……..!!! There is no structure for these children! Perhaps you should encourage the kids with some structure!

  • Guest159 says:

    Was going to happen. One videoed it and showed it to a coach! As far as Davis he was kicked of the baseball team last year. The point is there is more to this story that’s being reported. Your only hearing one side.

  • Titan Alumni says:

    Sellers need to be fired, he doesnt want to win they are going to get beat badly by Wallace Rose Hill. He only hurting the rest of the team by cutting the players. HE doesnt care about the outcome of the season which is going to be another winless season. The new principal and Gilroy need to get rid of Sellers and also stop bringing in old coaches that are being swaped around and bring in someone new.

  • Rebecca Bischof says:

    Like I said I know a lot of these kids personally, I have heard plenty of the story. They are kids, kids fight they didn’t do it at school. Yes the news has not gotten the full story and I think they should. Yeah fighting may not have been the answer but it happened and yes someone was dumb enough to video tape it. I don’t know how old you are but thank goodness I’m old enough that video didn’t happen at all the dumb things I witnessed at their age. I’m willing to bet that most of the people commenting on here have all been witnesses to something that wasn’t right it doesn’t mean it was their fault and should be punished for it

  • Coach33 says:

    I coached highschool and college football for a total of 35yrs.
    We always had players fight either at school or on the practice field
    locker room or a party. I can say if it took place at school suspend or kick
    Them off the team. If it took place in locker room or practice field, handle it as a coach should!

    If it takes place away from school, punish them as the coaches or team sees fit!
    But make the fighters be punished together. As in clean up and more physical excercises.
    Trust me if they suffer together, they will grow together!

    Don’t kick the boys off the team for fighting, much less the observers shouldn’t all be booted! That
    teaches nothing but if u witness a crime you are punished too! That part made no sense to me!
    Society has gone crazy with everybody deserves the same thing! Not in this case, if you are going to
    make examples of kids, just punish the fighters with the most severe punishment.
    If I booted players for watching a fight every time it happened. I would have to forfeit by game 3 every year.
    Be a coach and mentor by making a more rash decision than the knee jerk one you have made!
    You just might have created 16 embarrassed and pissed of teenage boys. Watching a fight will be the least they
    can do! They have learned their lesson

  • TheHardTruth says:

    It’s called “Political Correctness”. They’re so afraid of the NAACP, they’ll do anything to keep from taking a stand.

    A few years ago, my 12 year old neighbor was suspended, for 3 days, when a boy grabbed her bottom, in the hall. She punched him. Nothing, at all, happened to the boy.

    Her infuriated parents were told, they didn’t want any “cultural problems”.

    It’s unbelievable.

  • PublicAvenger says:

    I stand behind this coach 100%. It’s time we took a more serious stand against Violence In Schools.

  • PublicAvenger says:

    He didn’t fool me, one bit with his innocent, persecuted look, to the camera. When I was a kid, the 2 or 3 dozen trouble-makers, were expelled, the moment they acted up, usually in September. And that was the end of it. Our schools were totally safe. We never saw a cop, nor needed to see one.

    Now they just keep dancing around the rules, for these thugs. And have some ridiculous “Anti-Bullying” campaign.

    Why in the world, aren’t principles allowed to expel trouble-makers anymore ? The 5%, that ruin it for everyone else.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    Also to the people saying “They depended on football to get them into college.” That is plain dumb. Trask is one of the better educational programs in the area, if they had GOOD GRADES, and y’all were not so worried about “How good the football team is” then they would make good grades. I got into college off of my grades, academic scholarships. If they counted on football to get them in, then they were clearly focused on the wrong things.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    ..is the one of the greatest men you will ever meet! Aren’t you a big person for putting him down on here instead of doing something about it if you feel that strongly? If all you are worried about is winning football games then you watch football for the wrong reasons and I feel sorry for you.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    These kids signed a contract at the beginning of the season,IT DOES NOT MATTER if it was on school grounds or not, they knew what they were getting into. Some of these boys, like the Davis kid is known for his attitude and getting kicked off of teams, Coach Sellers did the right thing, if these kids were taught some morals at home, they would have known better than to go to an “Arranged Fight.” That is total ignorance. Coach is not worried about winning games, winning games will come, he is worried about teaching these boys character, integrity and teaching them to become men, and men don’t do stupid stuff like they did and continued to do.

  • Guest987654321 says:

    Character and integrity? How can someone teach that when they do not have it themselves? There was a fight last year in the locker room. Was anyone kicked off then? NOPE! There were a couple of fights earlier this year a practice. Was anyone kicked off then? NOPE! He actually told the kids he was proud of them for being so aggressive. This will be just like every other year, an excuse for losing. Maybe he needs to quit trying to make men and do his job and make football players. Face it, that’s his job. TO WIN! As for the Davis kid being known for his attitude and being kicked off teams, Sellers knew that and accepted it when he put him on the team in the first place. I’m sure it wasn’t a surprise. Everyone screws up from time to time. Even you. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be crucified when you do. I’m all for punishment, but not this. Now the kids who are still on the team are the one that are really getting punished. Some of them are not ready to compete physically at the varsity level. I’m sure that the coach really didn’t think, or care, for that matter about that. Trask is already the laughing stock of football. HE NEEDS TO GO!

  • From the Outside says:

    Coach’s decision period…….. One problem with America is that we can’t stand behind bold leadership. Athletics are EXTRA-curricular and no one should be allowed to play if they don’t follow the standards set forth by the coach. Let’s just hope the district administration will back the adult here instead of bowing to the pressure of the parents and public. Let’s see if they can be as bold as Sellers and keep the high expectations I’m sure they like to pride themselves in.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Playing sports is not the most important part of a kid’s education.

  • Guest987654321 says:

    Everyone keeps saying support the coach. Why is that I guess. He’s the one thats suppose to standards, right. His standards change day to day, player by player. He DOES NOT treat all players alike. Thats why some of the coaches are not there this year that has been there in years past. They got tired of his negativity and how he talked to the players. This man is obviously egotistical and a control freak. He would rather lose his way than change and win another way. These are just teenage kids we are talking about. Football players that want to win. They have to be completely humiliated because of how their football program can not even win a game. Iv’e personally witnessed a game that was lost due to bad coaching desicions. So by the rules which most people are saying Sellers should be kicked off. He didn’t just screw up. He failed to do his job. It’s either his way or the highway. Obviously his way leads to the bottom of the totem pole. Try convincing a highschool player that losing is ok and it builds character. Try doing that with any player at any level. Losing leads to bad attitudes and even more aggression. Lets quit looking at just his desicion and lets look at the root of the problem. LOSING! Yes there is a problem with the Trask football team. These kids hate to lose. I have never seen a school that has a state championship track team and their football team sucks. Oh yeah, except Trask. Thats not bad kids, thats bad coaching. We all know Sellers isn’t going anywhere but if the AD and the school in general want to build up that program then they need to address the problem. If they don’t then they all need to go.

  • Guest987654321 says:

    Why else would you watch football? You watch to root your team on to win. Any other reason is because you are so use to losing that it’s the norm. But thats the direction Trask is heading I guess.

  • taxpayer says:

    Certainly they must be outraged!

  • Guest123456789 says:

    You watch football for the thrill of it, you route your team on win or lose. There is NO TALETN POOL at Trask for football, and they had a couple good seasons 3-4 years ago. I know what winning football is, I’ve been apart and played on two state championship winning teams. Coach Sellers treats these boys like family, he is a great coach and man, he just needs more to work with, he lost a lot of players to Pender and New Hanover county schools.

  • GuestJames Lewis says:

    This is a tough situation to make a call on. Having coached football myself I probably handle it in a different way. The individuals fighting would have been suspended for a few games and those standing around watching would have gone through the exercise torment the next practice but before they got their punishment I would have explained why. Now the coach doesn’t know if some of those boys parents ever told them not to get involved in something that wasn’t their business. The coach doesn’t know if one of the kids watching was waiting for someone to take the lead to break up the fight then all watching probably would have tried to break it up. For those who think that these students will learn a valuable lesson may not understand the students of today, the lesson that you want them to learn and take away from this may not be the one that is correct. I can see a great dislike for this coach especially if he is the kind of coach who says do as I say and not as I do. Where was his leadership in all of this. To me it was a cowards way out by kicking those who weren’t fighting off the team. What kind of message is that sending to the other players who are on the field getting the mess beat out of them and the coach on the side line belittling them when they know that it’s the coaches fault.

  • WilmingtonMAJ says:

    I can honestly see two sides of this…if the boys were cheering the fight on, encouraging it, etc…then I see the punishment as just. If they just happened to be there and did nothing, then I don’t really think they deserve punishment at all. Not sure either is a correct position, but it seems the coach, in either way, is enforcing his morals/views on his players. Maybe he should just stick to coaching.

    On another tangent…did anyone else immediately think of the Seinfeld finale…the good samaritan law lol

  • Yam Town says:

    I think Coach Glen Sellers did the right and honorable. These guys have not learned their lesson yet. The coach should not let them back on the team because of their whining. The team and the coach are better off without them. They stood and watched a person getting physically assaulted and did nothing to stop it. I don’t know and don’t care what caused this fight, violence is not the answer and these boys need to learn this lesson now. Fighting is not the answer and it will get you into trouble every time. If it takes being off the end and their desires unfulfilled, maybe one day they will realize what they did wrong. I hope the person who was beaten is ok. Wonder what he would say to these guys? I think the principal should suspend all the players from school for a few days with the condition they are to work in a community event and not just stay home doing nothing.

  • guest 101 says:

    You have said a mouthful. That’s great. Trask High School will NEVER win until we get a new coach. Its his way or the highway.

  • Guest 101 says:

    Have you ever thought about WHY they leave??? They go to a school that they shine in. Just take a look at Hanover. We need a new coach.

  • 52 says:

    coach has taught us all a very good lesson. lets leave this behind. Maybe, most of us will learn from this mistake. I know i have.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Apparently neither of the players quoted in this story had any interest in addressing the issue of not stopping the fight. Hmm …

  • Guest0101 says:

    Come on people. The kid is willing to “do a bull in the ring.” I say if he comes through on his promise then let him back on the team

  • Guest128 says:

    people need to get the whole story before they start judging. He has always been fair. These kids knew about the fight they went to watch and they should have not been there. There was even one person that took a video of the fight and showed it off. The ones that didn’t know about the fight then that’s a different story but a lot of them did.

  • maria squitieri says:

    it was over a girl, go figure!

  • maria squitieri says:

    the two kids interviewed had a choice to stop the fight or not or to go the fight or not..they made the wrong choice and now theyre paying for it..tough nuggets….they both know how the fighting during the practices had gotten out of hand..coach sellers did the right thing by kicking them off. im only sorry he didnt do it two weeks earlier when some of these kids started getting stupid with their mouths and hands. maybe losing two players two weeks earlier wouldve shown the others that the fighting wouldnt be tolerated…This fighting nonsense was building for over two weeks. if you cant get along as a team during practice u cant play as a team on friday nights..end of story…i feel bad for sam though, because he really is a nice kid…

  • sabrina says:

    What they need to do is have the boys help with some of the special needs classes or maybe even start some kind of anti bullying/ fighting campaign. Make them do something useful but still kelp them on the team. I mean what if some of them are able yo get a scholarship? Your possibly ruining their life when something positive could come out of it, such as helping others who need it. But that’s my opinion. I know everyone has their own and I am not here to judge.

  • guest 1 says:

    Before people start talking they need to know what happen. The fight was not at school in the first place. The kids that watched should had been suspended for a few games. The team stinks from day one and haven’t won a game in 18 game so go ahead and kick the players off and have a winless season again. Maybe they need to be looking at coaching and see why they aren’t winning any games.

  • guest 202 says:

    I can see both sides in this story. Coach had to punish all those kids involve, directly and indirectly. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime though. This fight didn’t happen on campus. It didn’t happen during school hours. I believe they should be punished but not for the rest of the season. The reality is that their a bunch of highschool football players. This “Great” coach teaches them to be tough and fight. I have a bit different aspect on this coach because I know him. My son plays football for Trask. He didnt go to that fight because we “his parents” has taught him better. I can not see how that going to that fight warrants this punishment. Those kids could have done alot worse than that. THEIR KIDS! What we dont hear about is the fact that now Sellers has taken a dangerous game and made it impossible for the rest of the team. Also we dont hear about how he brow beats and taunts the players during practice. I keep hearing how great he is. There is a reason Trask hasn’t won a game in the last 17 games. I get to hear day in and day out about some of the things he says to these kids. His job is to teach football and coach. Obviously he isnt doing his job. The only reason my son is still there is because he loves the game and feels an obligation to his teammates. Hes there on his own. I hate it for these kids because they do not deserve to be railroaded for one mistake. This is just an easy out for coach so he can put the blame on something other than where it should be. He refuses to accept the blame for a lousy career at Trask.

  • Mobley says:

    It was a arranged fight. They all had a choice to be their. If all of them hadn’t showed up would their still have been a fight?!lets think about that. Why blame the coach when these kids made the choice to do this/ watch. I don’t fell sorry for them at all.

  • Guest123456 says:

    C’mon let’s be real. 16 kids stood around scared to intervene. I don;t buy that for a second.

  • guesty says:

    The kids were in a tough spot because according to the schools, you are not even allowed to defend yourself against an aggressor. You are supposed to not fight back but run away (and be teased forever) or take a beating until an adult intervenes. They may have been worried that if they were to step in they might be accused of being an active participant in the fight. Our schools don’t use commonsense with some of the rules.

  • Guest270 says:

    As someone who has played under Coach Sellers and knowing how he dealt with situations like this I would imagine there is more about these particular players that we just don’t know. He was tough but fair with everyone on his teams and I cannot imagine him doing this with any doubt in his mind. I’m glad he took a stand on this situation.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    Coach Sellers did the absolute right thing! No question about it! People are saying that he was “too harsh” or “it was not school related.” Every single one of these boys signed a contract at the beginning of the year saying they will be role models in the COMMUNITY and SCHOOL. Coach Sellers showed that athlete do get special attention, because they are varsity athletes, but they DO NOT get away with more. Varsity athletes, especially football players, are suppose to be role models in the town, community and the school. They were wrong in letting their teammates fight, KNOWING that it is wrong and that people will find out. If they cared they would have stopped the fight instead of standing around watching it, I’m sure the kid who was “there because his ride was there” could of found another way home, and he didn’t have to film it. I’ve heard numerous stories about it, and he WAS involved. It does not matter if it is “school related”, they are suppose to be role models in the community as well, all these little kids look up to them, they signed the contract, they broke it! Simple as that.

  • Ken says:

    Coach I agree with you!! By doing nothing these young showed their truest side, Go along to get along!! That is the big problem today, No guts to do the right thing!!!

  • deputy 25 says:

    I stand behind Coach on this one, need more like him in the schools to deal with these undisciplined teens!!i bet when the fight was happening they were all cheering one another on. let this be a lesson to you boys, i say boys because you havent graduated school yet, you become men in your minds not in muscle. This is about discipline,teamwork growing up in mind and body, sportsmanship. i bet some of the same pro players and even college players think because they can run fast and catch a ball that they are untouchable. You are learning a lesson here from the school of HARD KNOCKS that no teacher can ever teach you!! you now will be able, if you take this lesson and learn from it, be able to carry this through the rest of your lives and teach other young men and women. it’s not about you , its about the RIGHT THING. if you lay down with the dogs , you get up with the fleas. Coach Sellars sees this and understands that the ones playing are the ones that EARNED THE RIGHT TO STAY ON THE TEAM, WIN OR LOSE! What he should have done was to put you on the bench in uniform and NOT let you play so maybe you can see it from the other side. Your punishment is what is needed in todays , “YOU OWE ME SOCIETY” no one owes you anything, you owe yourself the to do what is right.if you stood by and did nothing, then you are part of the problem. you need to develop into a young man and let an education be what your life is and not just football! an education is something no one can take away from you.Dont take this as cry me a river and then go build you a bridge to get over it, take it as from now on out ,let yourself dictate what road you take and your attitude be your guide. One day you will thank Coach Sellars!!

  • Rebecca Bischof says:

    No they did not stand around scared to intervene, they were all at the fight because the fight was arranged just like a boxing match. It was on their own free time. I’m not saying that fighting was the answer but it didn’t happen at school and that’s the bottom line here, they are being punished for a non school related incident

  • Guest, just another says:

    Sometimes doing the right thing is hard. There’s probably WAY more to the story than just this.
    Praise to Coach Sellers. Its more than the game, he’s coaching these boys life lessons. Damn hard job and so few coaches or leaders like this.
    Thank you.

  • KT says:

    I so agree with ‘just another’s statement “Damn hard job and so few coaches or leaders like this.”
    All we seem to witness every day is the opposite kind of ‘leader’ in our daily contacts and on the state and national level.

  • Guest1 says:

    Agreed. It sounds like there was more to this story. The last thing coaches want to do is dismiss 16 kids from their team. Hard decision that will hopefully teach these boys a lesson. Now in all fairness if it we my kid or myself, I’d be pissed and trying to get back on the team as well. Hopefully these kids can earn their way back on.

  • Ken says:

    The Coach has taught these young men a valuable lesson they will not understand for a few years. He has taught them how the real world works and how unforgiving it can be for the simplest screw-up. It’s not about winning. It’s about becoming a man and this is one of the lessons young players learn as a team. Those young men that did not stand by and watch or that were not there to witness this fight learned as well, the value of doing the right thing on and off the field.While I am still not sure the Coach has te authority to take the action he id, I commend him for his response being more than a simple “Slap On The Wrist”. I hope the young men learned a valuable lesson this time so they do not have to have this experience again in later years in college, the military or on a job.

  • Vog46 says:

    Story made me both proud and sad.
    I’m proud of the coach for taking action against the students but I’m sad that the failure of the parents to teach these kids this lesson in life had to be taught to them by the coach – a stranger in their lives.
    Too many parents expect schools, teachers and coaches to “assume liability” for teaching such life lessons when in fact it’s OUR job as parents to do so. Even a single parent should teach their kids these types of lessons.
    Kudos to Glen Sellers for taking a stand. Shame on the parents who didn’t do their jobs.

    Vog

  • Fixing Stupid says:

    Could not agree more…

    To the “MAJ”: The coach is imposing life lessons on these boys that their parents should be doing! Your comments are indicative of a troubled society where everyone is too scared to do the right thing. I’m glad you’re not teaching any of my kids! At-a-boy Coach Sellers…bring them up right!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    and shot at a national title did not keep Coach Bryant from booting Joe Namath off the Alabama football team during his junior year. By his own words, Namath deserved the sanction and returned a far better player as a senior.

  • The Centurian says:

    I see alot of “I statements” from the two students interviewed.
    “I wanted to play football in college,” “It basically ruined MY life,” “I cried because I wanted to play football so much.” Very egocentric statements. No statements at all in either the written article or the video regarding the two students involved in the fight….no thought as to whether one of the students in the fight was being bullied or whether one or both individuals would be seriously injured.

    “I would do anything just to get back on this team.” Sixteen students observed a fight between two members of the team and did NOTHING to break it up?? Apparently they are willing to do anything to be on the team……..anything except the RIGHT thing.

    Kudos to this coach for doing the right thing…..even though his players have no concept as to what is the right and moral thing to do.

  • SouthEastNC says:

    I’ve been under the impression for sometime now that no matter how you are involved in a fight at school (ie. whether someone tries to jump you and you defend yourself, or if you intervene to try and break-up the fight and then you are swung at and have to defend yourself) then you get in trouble. I know that happened with me and some friends in middle school at D.C. Virgo, we got in-school-suspension for trying to break up a fight, the bad-guys turned on us and we had to defend ourselves.

    Is that still the case?

  • taxpayer says:

    by doing nothing, you showed your true colors.

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