Archive for high school football

Winchester Sun Article On Collins Firing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2014 by Joan Graves

Winchester Sun Article On Collins Firing

Clink the red link above  to read Winchester Sun Sports Reporter Keith Taylor’s article on the on the firing of GRC Head Football Coach Steve Collins.  Stand Up Clark County would like to salute Keith Taylor as a great, reporter with integrity and thank him for all he does for our community.

High School Football Coaches Brawling On The Field.

Posted in In The News, National Stories, Point of View, Sports with tags , on September 6, 2013 by Joan Graves

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/sports/2013/09/03/hln-alabama-football-coach-brawl.hln.html

It’s easy to look at this video and think it would never happen to us. But don’t we all get caught up in the game? Check my FB page when a UK basketball game is on and you’ll see me ranting with the best of them.

It’s imperative that we draw a firm line for ourselves, our kids and our coaches. We cannot accept any behavior that strays beyond that line. We set ourselves up for this atrocious behavior when we have coaches angry at players in practice, parents angry at coaches during games and players angry at other players anytime. You may think the swirling animosity has no impact but it does. The distance between the anger in your head being displayed through your hands is a lot shorter than you think.

Stand Up Clark County then step back in the heat of the moment.

 

Not All Football Players Would Have Done This

Posted in Encouragement, In The News, National Stories, Point of View, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by Joan Graves

footballplayers

Four William Patterson University football players entered a local store to find no cashier. They called out but no one answered. They selected their purchases, counted out the money, tossed it on the counter and left. Little did they know what was about to happen.

The players have received national exposure because they did the right thing. They could have stolen their items but did not. Somewhere along the way, a coach and/or parents taught these guys that when they take from another no one wins. They learned, no doubt, by example, that integrity is always more valuable than money or wins. These guys had opportunity but no motive. They knew there are ways to treat people and there are ways not to treat people. Now, they are enjoying the feeling of having a reputation of being men of honor in a sport that has far too high a crime rate. Being men of good character does not happen it is learned. And when it is displayed, it is celebrated and people never forget.

Read the story for yourself by clicking on the link below. Stand Up Clark County and teach our players to be men of honor. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/28/new-jersey-football-players-rewarded-for-honesty-after-paying-at-store-with-no/

 

Death Threats, Rivals, Ghosts & The Way To Make It Right.

Posted in George Rogers Clark, Point of View, Schools, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2013 by Joan Graves

My last post, “Beyond Friday Night”, generated heated responses from people calling themselves Tony and Jessica. Their remarks indicate they are friends with GRC Head Football Coach Steve Collins. They defended Collins vehemently and I actually applaud them for standing up for their friend. The manner in which they do it however, is highly questionable.

Tony and Jessica went to excessive lengths to hide their identities. They set up a dummy email account, which both used to access the comments section of the blog. Their IP addresses indicate they are in the same network. Which means Jessica and Tony either is the same person or is closely connected.

If you have followed this blog or read the Lexington Herald-Leader, you are aware of death threats made in the past. What you may not know is that a few weeks ago I received a threat, which basically said for me to stop Stand up Clark County or die. I was not impressed. People against Stand Up Clark County have long tried to silence me by using disgusting, perverted, and threatening remarks. The only common denominator is that each time the attack came after a post about the football program.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am in absolutely no way saying that Coach Collins or his staff is responsible for death threats or verbal attacks. What I am saying is that it is the topic of Collins’ football program that triggers the venom. I have no idea if it’s a coach, fan, parent, player, cheerleader, or community member launching the assaults. What I do know is whoever it is they are extremely passionate about Collins’ football program.

From my point of view, this is what I see. Paul Columbia’s firing was not the fault of Coach Collins, though Collins and his staff like to use that as an excuse for their shortcomings. Collins took a job he knew was in drowning in controversy so none of this is a surprise to him. What is surprising to us, however, is that Collins has invested more in our rival Montgomery County than he ever has in the community of Clark County. He made the decision early on to place himself in opposition of the majority of the community. Little did he know the previous board of education would fall and the superintendent who hired him retire, leaving him at the mercy of the very people he has shunned.

One of the first things Collins did, as football coach was take business away from Clark County’s long time small business staple, South Main Grocery. He immediately ended the team’s tradition of having breakfast there. Many saw that move as self-serving because Collins failed to realize the importance of tradition in the midst of turmoil. Since then, Collins’s program has been embroiled in controversy surrounding the treatment of players.

Collins has failed to ever address the concerns or even as much as attempt to interact with the community. Instead, he opted to take money from our small businesses while investing in Montgomery County golf scrambles. Collins appears to be heavily involved in the community in which he lives but not in the community who pays his salary or in which the kids he interacts with live. If Collins does not produce well-rounded individuals, what concern is it of his? Clark County is a paycheck not an investment.

Collins’s divided mind has cost him greatly but us even more so. While he spent his time trying to defeat the ghost of Paul Columbia, his team logged one of the worst seasons on record. Now, rather than focus on the players and how to make them successful he has opted instead to spend his time and energy into making PR rounds for an Astro Turf. When what we really need is a leader.

Clark County takes pride in our heritage and sense of community. We are not like other counties. We still stand for “old fashioned values”. We do not want new flashy things that spend our money but produce nothing. We prefer to invest in people not things.

We do not want to oppose Coach Collins but we must protect our core values. We have an obligation to the future of our kids. Therefore, we must insist Coach Collins invest in Clark County, speak out against those creating turmoil and crime in his name and begin building a bridge that will improve the lives of all Clark Contains.

Stand Up Clark County for all we are, have been and will be.

Beyond Friday Night

Posted in In The News, National Stories, Point of View, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2013 by Joan Graves

GRC Football Coach Steve Collins has recently been requesting media interviews regarding money for an AstroTurf football field. I was dismayed to hear Collins say, that a new field would, “mean a lot” to the players and that “was the most important thing.” That type of statement can project the image that our school system centers on football rather than education.

By investing so much time and energy into obtaining the field, Collins is making it clear an Astro Turf field is a priority for him and the community has a major hand in whether his priority becomes our reality. Players naturally adopt the priorities of their coach. In this case they may cast a negative eye on a community they have been deceived into thinking is against them.

The football program is very valuable and we need to invest in it as we can. Nevertheless, the program is not nearly as important as the players themselves and their peers. It is the responsibility of coaches to graduate balanced, fully educated players with a strong sense of community. That recipe is what transforms a student into a successful adult. What the current football team is receiving is far from what they are due. They deserve more than adults who strive to pit them against their community.

The nightly news is filled with the tragic outcomes of kids being taught their wants and needs are paramount over everyone else’s. The Steubenville High School rape case gained national attention but it was not a lone case. Nor was it something that happened unexpectedly. The situation grew naturally out of an environment of players believing football is the most important thing and having adults cover up their crimes and infractions, depriving them of the positive life experiences that come with accountability.

The mental grooming in Steubenville took place over a period of years. Steubenville was like a cancer tumor growing quietly within while the symptoms were covered up. By the time it was discovered, the roots were so deep it threatened the very life that maintained it. The players’ sense of entitlement was so complete they failed to see the repeated rape of a drunken, passed out girl a problem. In a sick and perverted video frenzy, they documented and shared their crimes.

The few players who knew rape was wrong turned away or gave a half-hearted effort to stop it. Parents try to instill a morale sense in kids but frequently their kids spend the majority of their time with people opposed to those morals or at the very least ignore them. The negative input overrode the positive parenting. Students testified in court, that the high school focused on football and the rules that applied to the general student population did not include football players. Football players had a staff of coaches and others willing to cheat, lie and cover-up crimes for the sake of a win.

Is that what we want for our kids? Do we want to be the next Steubenville? Do you want your kid to be the next to commit suicide over his/her treatment at school or be the next rape statistic? Cases like this happen in Anytown USA. The difference between us in them is that we cling to our fundamental morale foundation.  Steubenville adults taught those kids they did not have to take responsibility. That is a very poisonous lie. Responsibility will come. The only question is, when? Two players sit in prison, for all of their life branded a sex offender while the adults who traded their future for a Friday night win go scot-free.

Clark County has a strong sense of community. When tragedy strikes, we pull together as a single powerful force. Many don’t understand our “small town ways”, including the small towns that surround us. What may work in another county will fail here and vice versa. That is why we should always promote the hiring of Clark County citizens over outsiders. It is important to explore new ideas and ways of doing things. But if those ideas are in direct opposition of our community’s core values then we must stand against them. Clark County has consistently focused on turning out graduates who have learned the importance denying self to help another. We have seen previous GRC students travel hours on a brutally cold winter night just to give a two-minute speech about how a Clark County educator made a positive life changing impact on his life. No one forced them to come. They came because the values they learned taught ran so deep they simply could not do anything else. That is truly the most important thing.

I agree with Collins that we have endured a season of change. For that reason alone, we must demand coaches cater to the needs of the whole child rather than just those of a player. Tragedies such as Steubenville occur when we stop viewing players as evolving individuals who need strong ethical guidance to achieve their full potential.

We need a community supportive of the football program and a football program involved in the community. We want our players hungry for a win but we want them starving to positively impact their community. When the whole child is attended to, games are won, students become high achievers, and communities prosper. We can climb out of this pit of controversy, celebrate great wins in sports, bridge achievement gaps and soar to the top rather than continue to dangle at the bottom of the educational food chain. However, it will only happen when we start looking beyond Friday night.

Stand Up Clark County because life is more than a game.

NOTE: This blog post represents the views and opinions of Joan Graves.