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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Duxbury football will return to field Friday for first game since coach was fired over Holocaust-related terms

The Duxbury football team will be on the practice field this week in preparation for Friday's game against Patriot League rival Marshfield.
The Duxbury football team will be on the practice field this week in preparation for Friday's game against Patriot League rival Marshfield.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Two weeks after the Duxbury football program was placed on pause after the school began investigating players’ use of Jewish and Holocaust-related terms in a game March 12 at Plymouth North — prompting the firing of 16-year head coach Dave Maimaron — the Dragons will return to the field Friday night, hosting rival Marshfield in their third game of the Fall II season.

Duxbury High School principal Jim Donovan said in a letter to the school community on Monday that “several members of the coaching staff are no longer with the program.” There will be a core group of five coaches that will continue to lead the football team through the final two weeks of its season, including Friday’s game.

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“The players and remaining coaches are also fully cognizant of the expectations that our school and community have for all of our students both on and off the field and that nothing like this can ever happen again,” Donovan said.

In the school newsletter, which was addressed to students, faculty, parents, and guardians, Donovan wrote, “Since the events of March 12, the football team has shown initiative and has demonstrated significant growth in their understanding of the impact of words and actions on and off the field.”

Donovan said the players attended a presentation by a third-generation Holocaust survivor whose grandfather and uncles survived the Auschwitz concentration camp as young adults during World War II.

On their own, the football captains and several other players accepted an invitation by state Senator Barry Finegold to meet and learn about the Holocaust from his perspective as a former football player and member of the Jewish community. The captains also met with Rabbi Howard Cohen of Congregation Shirat Hayam in Marshfield and are exploring a meeting between the rabbi and the entire team.

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Duxbury athletic director Thom Holdgate said the team will not have a head coach Friday against fellow unbeaten Marshfield (3-0), noting that some staff members resigned and the ones that stayed will collaborate in what he referred to as a “team effort.”

While he pointed out how the team used the incident as a learning opportunity, Donovan said, “Allowing our football team to finish their season is a crucial step in this learning journey. We have plans for our entire school and district to continue to learn and grow in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we will be sharing those plans out in the near future.”

The matchup with rival Hingham originally scheduled for March 26 and the game against Whitman-Hanson initially slated for April 1 were both called off. Superintendent John Antonucci never ruled out a possible return. It is unclear if those contests will be made up at a later date or if Duxbury will be eligible for the Patriot Cup.

Duxbury has outscored its opponents, 72-0, while Marshfield has dominated its foes, 123-25. This is the Rams’ first season in the Patriot League, but the two programs have a long history of playing on Thanksgiving Day. Marshfield leads the Thanksgiving rivalry, 18-15-2.

In addition to losing his coaching position, Maimaron was placed on administrative leave from his special education teaching position at the school, according to Ellis Strategies, a public relations firm working with the town’s school district.

Duxbury is one of the state’s most successful football programs. Maimaron had led the team to 12 consecutive Patriot League titles and five Super Bowls.

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