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Edgefield County, South Carolina

October 10, 2005

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Letter to the Editor

School Board hopeful says, "It is time to do something"

Letter to the Editor

web posted October 10, 2005

Dear Editor,

As a former member of the Strom Thurmond football program for many years as well as Aiken High, and Arena football with the Augusta Stallions in addition to working with young people in athletics in various other areas through out my life; I have kept my mouth shut about things only because I felt it was the right thing to do but now is the time to offer my two cents.

First of all, I love each and every one of the kids that I have worked with over my many years of service in athletics. I’m very proud of the direction the Strom Thurmond High football program has been heading the last two years. It is very refreshing to see the community have a team to rally behind and be proud of after numerous years of sub par performance.

I am however appalled at the current situation that has developed over the Kevin Jones scandal with the, “I can do anything I want” attitude of the administration and the head football coach. I do not agree with Coach Sawyer and his attitude but kept that to myself. I gave up football to spend more time on my job and because of poor attitudes that no one should have to put up with from most of the current staff. I also do not agree with the way a few former graduate assistant coaches were treated after his hiring.

I am in favor of having quality Christian role models in character and in the community. I am in favor of having coaches who love the kids not just during football season but through out life. I can honestly say there are few involved in sports that have this commitment, or in the past, in this county.

I could sit here and take pot shots at the administration and the school board because Lord knows there’s plenty of ammunition to use. They have forgotten who pays their salaries and who voted them into office. Let’s just say for now this system has many holes in it and nobody cares to fix them. They would prefer sweeping the trash under the rug not make a scene.

There is a policy in place within the athletic department that states if you are arrested for any crime you will be dismissed from any varsity sport. There are a few others to about personal foul penalties and ejections from games but the rules are there. If they get the rule book which they’ve been using to hold the window up you can see it in black and white for their self.

Mr. Jones maybe a great football player, troubled kid, but the rules are the rules and to refuse to enforce them in all cases is wrong. It’s time we as citizens call for a full scale investigation into all policies and procedures governing the athletic department and the enforcement of these policies. But, is a state championship a bigger priority?  I hope not. Have we forgotten what’s important?

In closing, I hope that my letter will help start the ball rolling. I wish the football team all the success they deserve. I appreciate all of the support the community has given to me over the years and the numerous people who believed in me enough to ask me to run for school board district six last November. Even though I lost I will run again. I will do my part to make Edgefield County schools the best in the state. I cannot sit here and allow this or any of the other current things going on and say nothing. It is time to do something.

Tony Edwards
Trenton SC




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