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Edgefield County, South Carolina

August 20, 2005

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EDITORIAL

Are you ready for some football?

Editorial

web posted August 20, 2005

It is that time of year, football season. Everyone is watching for Coach Sawyer and the Strom Thurmond Fighting Rebels to do great things this year. They are “contenders” for the state championship many say. The Augusta Chronicle ran a story about the Rebels just yesterday titled, “Jones, Phillips give talented Rebels even more inspiration.”

The Jones in the title is none other than Kevin Jones, 18, All Region defensive end starter for the Rebels. The Chronicle claimed Jones looked like the “team manager, who stole a helmet and shoulder pads.”  We do not know if he has entered the arena of burglary yet, but we do know he is facing two felony charges for threatening the life of two Edgefield County Deputies.

To Coach Sawyer it is not an issue obviously. He is aware of the arrest, the admission, and the apology to the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Department by Mr. Jones. Furthermore, the charges against him are felonies punishable with up to ten years for each count.

But Jones plays football.

Strom Thurmond suspended their 2005 Valedictorian for shotgun shells left in his truck after a week-end hunt. But if you play football (grades are so insignificant) on a contending state championship team as an All Region award winner you can threaten deputies and not only stay in school, you get to start on the football team.

And people wonder why athletes are such poor role models. What is even worse, look who is directing them on the path, coaches, principles, and administrators. They know better.

We love football and most of all high school and college football. Once it gets to the professional level it is all about the money and the “sport” gets tossed to the side. However, turning a blind eye to a slam dunk on two felonies, the coaches and administration at Strom Thurmond High School must have only one thing on their mind and it is not leadership.

What must a player do to get kicked off the team? I guess no player can be benched or removed from play for telling Coach Sawyer to go “fornicate” himself. After all if you can threaten the life of a deputy, wait make that two, and play there is not much the coach can do to justify punishing anyone for much of anything else.

Will Jones face full felony charges in October in General Sessions Court? Yes.

Will he plea down? Probably.

That would really depend on how serious the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Department takes threats to the life of their employees. We would wager Sheriff Dobey takes the actions of Mr. Jones very seriously; especially since they leveled two felony counts against him.

Strom Thurmond Principle Greg Thompson said Jones was off the team when the story broke. Jones kept practicing and has a starting position. We guess we will have to verify his statements from now on.

The whole situation stinks and in the long run it will just grow and become something to distract the team. The coaches and administration already look bad enough. The example they have set is even worse. Do what has to be done now.

Coach Sawyer told the Chronicle, "We've got some great players," Sawyer said. "Great players who do amazing things. But I don't know if I would trade any one of them for that Kevin Jones."

Obviously not coach, not even felony charges are enough for you to trade Jones.




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