Coach offers olive branch

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 18, 2009

While I was under the impression that I was going to be able to address the school board at their proceedings Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, and it never came to fruition, I humbly submit the text of what my message would have been.

Larry Dauterive

Athletic Director/Head Football Coach East St. John High School

(Editor’s note: Coach Larry Dauterive’s statement follows in full.)

I realize that allowing me to speak tonight is a break in protocol, but for people close to this situation, it is well documented that there has been an ongoing feud between Mr. Ali Burl and myself for over a year.

The false rumors and innuendos that surfaced this past week only added fuel to the fire of what was becoming a very explosive situation.

We are both very proud and stubborn individuals, and our contempt for each other was seemingly causing a horrible division in our community.

Clearly, something had to be resolved, and seemingly the only solution was in some sort of divine intervention.

That intervention appeared in the form of a messenger from God, Pastor Neil Bernard of New Wine Fellowship Christian Church.

Having a great feel and compassion for this community, he sought us both out on an individual basis and asked that we meet with him and try to settle our differences

Mr. Burl and I met in Pastor Bernard’s office, in what turned out to be a most cordial and non-confrontational meeting with this Man of God, and we prayed together for a resolution to this situation.

After much dialogue, we both came to an understanding that we must put aside our dislike for each other and both acknowledging that we were in fact creating divisive camps, we sought forgiveness from each other and apologized to one another.

This could never have been possible without the unique, compassionate meditation style of Neil Bernard.

I stand before you tonight and offer an olive branch to Mr. Burl in hopes that we can work together for what is really the most important thing to me, and that is the students at East St. John High School

To all of you who chose to be in attendance here tonight on my behalf, I cherish your support, but more importantly, I thank Rev. Bernard for his insight and intervention and making us both realize that this is truly the CHRISTIAN thing to do.

I am proud to be the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at East St. John and pledge my continued effort to make us the best that we can be.