Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
December 26, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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December 26, 2018

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December 26, 2018 Page 3B Al l orter About a dozen concerned parents and coaches at- tended Monday's recreation board meeting to voice their anger over three long- time volunteer coaches not being allowed to coach rec basketball this year. Family members and friends of the three coach- es, Tevin "T.K7 Chambliss, Kadarius Puckett and Fred Shannon, demanded new rec directorLandon Sparks, assistant rec direc- tor Kim Pierson or the three rec board members in attendance, Ron Ship- man, Lamarcus Davis and Melissa Mixon, to tell them why the coaches were let go. However, rec employ- ees rec board members all declined to answer, saying they were told by Mon- roe County attorney Ben Vaughn not to respond due to it being a personnel matter. Sparks, who said the deci- sion was "not personal;' told citizens the coaches had violated a department rule but gave no further specifics. The rec board members said the nile had nothing to do with any actions toward youth participants and said the infraction was not related to inappropriate or abu- sive language. Sparks said the three coaches are not permanently banned and will be allowed to coach baseball in the spring if they want. Sparks, who said he made the decision to ban the coaches, said he told the three coaches: "Your services are not needed for this season because we could not make you happy in football:' However, Puckett's wife, Jennifer Harris, said the three coaches received an e-mail from new county manager Jim Hedges al- leging the coaches had engaged in "gross miscon- duct'; "insubordination" and "mistreatment of clients and co-workers" When Sparks and rec board members still would not speak about the allega- tions, the coaches' support- ers defended their perfor- mance. One parent, Katie Moore, said, "These are three of the best coaches that you have out here, the most competi- tive, the best for our kids:' Another parent, A.J. Rol- lins, said the only change at the rec department is Sparks' recent hiring, not the three coaches' behavior or performance. "We've never had a prob- lem with these folks be- fore" Rollins said. "Never: Rollins' wife Kristin said she's never seen coaches who can coach kids as well as the three banned coaches. She said the coaches teach players about winning and fimdamentals. She said they also help raise funds and pick kids up for practice. "These kids love them,' Kristin Rollins said. "They would rather not even play at all or play on their team" Yet another parent, Earl Hitt, told the rec board if the three coaches were banned permanently, it would be a "terrible dis- service to this county." As the 15 minutes of public comments were concluding, Moore said she thought race was the cause of Sparks' decision since the new rec director is white and the three banned coaches are black. Moore, who is white said, "I guarantee you if I came in here and filled that (vol- unteer) paperwork out, you wouldn't turn me down." When asked why, Moore replied, "I'm white" Sparks urged the angry citizens to appeal his deci- sion to Monroe County commissioners and said he would not discuss further the matter. Rec board members Adam Ham and Kenneth Mantle were absent from Monday's meeting. Monroe County Dep. JeffWilson was the lone other county employee in attendance. Rec board member Lamar- cus Davis said he was dis- appointed that no county representatives were there to address the concerns. . HVAC S~ic all brands Installati0~ lndcor:Sir Quality Pm~mtive ,'M~into,ance , Replacements Refrigeration Cooking Equipmem Commercial Kitchen Repairs NATE Ce~find . Fact0q; Authorized Dealer . Financing Available with Great Rates Mike Weeks & Mark McCranie Sen~ Mk/d~ Georgia 20 Yeus H- Home games with Southern Conference opponents Chattanooga, VMI, Samford and Wofford along with a road trip to Cha- pel Hill to face North Carolina highlight Mercer's 2019 football schedule. In conjunction with the release of the Bears' 2019 schedule, Mercer announced that season ticket packages for the six home games will be avail- able starting on Dec. 19. Season ticket holders can renew their packages and prospective season ticket holders can purchase pack- ages by calling the Mercer Ticket Office at (478) 301- 5470 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or eb r, tingtickets.mercer. du. Me~er opens the 2019 campaign on the road with a SoCon contest at Westem Caro "lma on Aug. 31. After the first Of two open dates for Mercer on Sept. 7, the Bears welcome non-confer- ence foe Austin Peay to Five Star Stadium on Sept. 14 in their fourth head-to-head meeting since 2014. The Bears head to Green- ville, S.C. to face Furman on Sept, 21 followed by a pair of home contests against Campbell on Sept. 28 and Chattanooga on Oct. 5. The meeting with Campbell will be the first since 2013 when Mercer recorded a 38-31 win over the Camels in Buies Creek, N.C. Following an open date on Oct. 12, Mercer starts a six- week span of games by host- ing VMI on Oct. 19. After a trip to The Citadel on Oct. 26, the Bears return home for two straight weeks; Samford comes to Macon on Nov. 2 and Wofford visits Five Star Stadium on Nov. 9. Back-to-back road games against ETSU on Nov. 16 and North Carolina on Nov. 23 dose out the regular season. Mercers dash with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill will mark the two programs' second-ever meeting and first since a 3-0 loss in 1925. The game will also be Mercers fifth against a FBS op- ponent since 2016. 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