by Bill Hall
Pittsboro, NC – They say great minds think alike. I was working on this editorial regarding middle school football when I purchased this week’s Chatham Record (November 20, 2019). As always I went right to the sports section and saw Don Beane’s editorial on middle school football.
It’s way past time Chatham County schools. Once again the state football playoffs started and once again NO Chatham County high school is participating in them. Now, I’m not getting on the three high school head coaches or their staffs; I for one know how hard they work.
I am once again getting on Chatham County and Chatham County Schools. It’s time to untie the hands of these hard working staffs.
As a former head football coach at Northwood I was very fortunate to have great players and great staffs. We were fortunate enough to make it to the 3rd round of the playoffs five consecutive seasons. Coach Phil Senter and Coach Marty Scotten also made great runs in the state playoffs at Jordan-Matthews. But what bothers me and a lot of individuals in Chatham County is, what could have been had these staffs not had to spend most of these players’ freshman years teaching what they should have already been thought in middle school football.
Imagine if Jason Freeman’s band members got to Northwood for band and they did not have a middle school band. And before you jump on me and say I’m anti band; I’m not. Jason played football for us and was also in the marching band. We worked together and now Jason is doing a great job with the band. Imagine if there were no middle school cheerleaders! No middle school baseball or softball. No middle school basketball! Oh the outrage.
Don Beane and I have been pushing for years to get middle school football. We have even had meetings with folks at the county office to discuss and yet here we are in 2019 and no change. As Don stated in his article, he’s looking for other options. I’m not at that point yet.
The bottom line is I can’t do it. Don can’t do it. There is a very successful program in Pittsboro for our younger players, the East Chatham Chargers. There is a ton of young talent on these teams. I’m not as familiar with the younger teams in Siler City and Bear Creek, but I know it’s a battle every time these teams meet on the gridiron.
Parents of these talented players, your voice can be loud.
Get organized, ask for meetings. Ask why. Continue to ask why in 2020 is there no ball for these athletes. Don’t accept the same answers. Continue to fight for it and maybe just maybe these talented kids will be able to represent their middle school on the football field.
So this Friday night (November 22), I’ll head to Randleman to watch some of my coaching buddies from East Duplin take on Randleman in the 2nd round of the state high school football playoffs.
FYI, Duplin County had three teams play for a state championship two years ago. Just imagine.
Bill Hall is a former head football coach at Northwood High School. The 2014 season was his last as the Chargers’ coach
Hall’s teams enjoyed a superlative run over the past decade. From 2005 through 2010, Northwood won 62 and lost 21 games.
In one five-year stretch, 2006-10, they made it to the NCHSAA third round each year.
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