Coach Tom Knotts of Charlotte Independence will not coach on Friday night against the Page Pirates in round one of the State 4-AA playoffs. Knotts will not, I repeat will Knott or not coach against the Page Pirates on Friday. Knotts did not coach in last Friday’s game when Independence lost to Matthews Bulter 21-20.
Here’s the word from Langston Wertz Jr. of the Charlotte Observer and www.charlotte.com:
If Independence High’s football team can win its first round game Friday at Greensboro Page, the Patriots will get their coach back.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Supt. Peter Gorman lifted Tom Knotts’ paid suspension late Thursday afternoon. Knotts will be allowed to return to work Monday. He cannot coach in Friday’s game against Page (7-4).
“I’m glad to get him back,” acting coach Bill Geiler said. “We had a good week of practice considering they wanted to know about coach Knotts every day and we didn’t have any answers. We just had to keep telling the kids to focus on the business at hand and let everything else take care of itself.”
Knotts missed last week’s varsity game with Butler, which Independence lost 21-20. The Patriots, who could’ve had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win, ended up getting a No. 10 seed and their first road playoff game since November 2000, when they won the first of a record seven straight N.C. championships.
“We miss him,” coach Geiler said. “The kids miss him. I miss him. It’s been a hard week with the uncertainty, not knowing what was going to happen and trying to keep the kids focused on the job at hand. We were just hopeful and waiting to see what would happen. I’d love to let him do this tomorrow, but hopefully we’ll ride home and get ready to play another game.”