from David Thompson, the Award-Winning sportswriter/reporter, with the Asheville Citizen-Times/CLICK HERE:
‘Let them play’
A petition to allow high school sports to start in the fall, particularly football, has garnered nearly 3,000 signatures in the last week and has support from WNC coaches, including Murphy football coach David Gentry.
Gentry, the state leader in all-time coaching wins, penned a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper, which is attached to the petition, pleading to start the football season in “mid-October” instead of its current start date in February.
**********The petition is requesting for high school sports to resume Oct. 1.**********
The N.C. High School Athletic Association previously moved the start of the public school season due to the spread of COVID-19. Volleyball and cross country will be the first sports to be played starting Nov. 4.
Below is the letter from Gentry to Gov. Roy Cooper:
Letter from Gentry
To Whom It May Concern and Governor Roy Cooper:
This is my 50th year being a high school head football coach. Most of that time, 47 years, has been in North Carolina. Covid-19 has caused tremendous chaos in everyone’s life and in the sports world. Most states, at least 39, have chosen to go ahead and play fall sports. North Carolina has chosen not to start any sports until November and the plan is then to play football in the spring. I strongly believe that we could start football in mid-October and finish by the end of December. Football players, especially the seniors, are hurting in their quest for obtaining college scholarships. These young men have been penalized enough already.
Going ahead with football would then lessen the squeeze with other spring sports and not put athletes in a position of having to choose between sports and missing games. The seasons have already been cut short and games have been lost. Then in the spring, these athletes are going to have to choose between basketball playoff games and football games and also football playoff games and baseball games. I talked to a prominent 1-A football coach in the eastern part of the state and he said he would most likely have to forfeit the first two football games because his skill players would be in the basketball playoffs. How is this the best thing for our student-athletes?
Most of the states near and around us are playing football and other fall sports right now. Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida are some of the states playing at this time. They have experienced some bumps in the road but have had no major problems. There is no reason North Carolina cannot do what these other states are doing with fall sports. Murphy High School and several other schools around us have all lost student-athletes to neighboring high schools just across the line in Georgia. There is no need for this to happen. I totally support starting football and all of our fall sports as early as possible for the overall benefit and well being of our young men and women student-athletes.
David R. Gentry
Murphy High School
Head Football Coach
Murphy coach David Gentry has written a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper pleading to start the high school football season in the fall.https://t.co/NC1jJmNVoz
— High School Huddle (@acthshuddle) September 22, 2020