Approximately 50 parents and players with the Claiborne Middle School football team met at Claiborne High School the evening of July 9 to discuss the future of the program.
A representative of the Claiborne Progress was asked not to attend the meeting but was granted interviews with parents and Claiborne High School Bulldogs’ head coach Jerton Evans afterward. The football informational meeting was held at the same time of the school board’s monthly meeting, which took place just a couple of minutes down the road at TNT Primary School.
The middle school football parents expressed concern about the lack of a coach after former coach Travis Bailey was promoted to principal duties at Forge Ridge School. Bailey was considered by many to be a great asset to the program. After the move was announced, the parents said they patiently waited to hear who the replacement would be but the school board appeared to fumble the ball regarding the coaching position.
By the end of the night, however, they seemed to have recovered pending some additional review.
Just minutes into the football meeting at CHS, two parents left that meeting and set out to reach the school board meeting before it ended. Kayla Surber and Jessica Hollin arrived just in time to discuss the issue with the board members before they left, although the school board meeting was officially adjourned.
Evans told the crowd that he and CHS principal Jody Goins had the permission to make a hire. The only problem was that everyone previously contacted had declined. A call to another potential candidate was made immediately and interest was shown.
Meanwhile, Evans assured the rest of the crowd at CHS that all possible leads would be considered. A name was mentioned and he was contacted during the football meeting regarding the position.
Evans instructed the parents to have a secondary plan ready in case the person contacted didn’t want to make the commitment. After the meeting was over the parents said they felt better about the direction of the program and their excitement was evident. Evans also agreed to help the middle school players for a week but could only promise that amount of time due to his own lack of time and assistant coaches on the high school side.
Following the meeting, Evans was asked to explain why the Claiborne Progress was asked not to sit in on the meeting and he said, “I just wanted to have one-on-one time with just the parents and players to directly address their worries and concerns.”
Reach Allen Earl at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @pitchadude.