Football Team Helps Remove Graffiti, Racial Slurs Spraypainted on Teammate's House

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP ) - Members of the Hoover High School football team spent part of their Christmas weekend helping two teammates clean up spray-painted racial slurs and other insulting graffiti on their garage.

Team members covered the graffiti at the home of running backs and brothers Phillip and Erick Howard using paint and equipment donated a Sherwin-Williams Co. store.

"It's a story that did end well," said Maria Wackerly, whose son, Jared, helped organize the Christmas Eve cleanup.

Two people who live in the neighborhood have been charged with vandalism, which police say was sparked because of a dispute between the pair and the Howard boys.

Family friends and six juniors from the football team help clean up the graffiti discovered Nov. 30.

Jared Wackerly, who's known Phillip Howard since junior high, said he wanted to bring together the players who will be seniors next year and help the Howards' mom, Ruth, who has supported the players for years.

"They didn't deserve something like that to happen to their house," Wackerly said. "They're a good family."

Phillip Howard said the family was grateful for the support, especially because his teammates gave up some of their holiday time.

"They didn't have to do that," he said.