FAIRMONT — Coaches from each of the 10 Three Rivers Conference football teams had a chance to give updates on their teams at the league’s media day on Thursday.
The upcoming season wasn’t the only topic discussed among the coaches. The issue of getting high schoolers to play football despite growing concerns about the long-term impact of concussions was prominent in each of the presentations, as well as the importance of getting athletes to play multiple sports.
Fairmont head coach Kevin Inman talked about he valued working with other coaches at his school in order to ensure that multi-sport athletes are treated fairly. Two of Fairmont’s best players, Jayvon Morris and Jordan Waters, both play multiple sports.
South Robeson head coach Clay Jernigan added to that point.
“At my school we’re pushing kids to play three sports,” Jernigan said.
St. Pauls interim head coach Mike Setzer said players deciding not to participate in football or play multiple sports often are often mislead into making those decisions.
“I think the mentality of these athletes is owned by other people living through these athletes and telling them not factual information about how to get to college,” Setzer said.
Jarrett Price, who was named the new head coach at Whiteville in April, gave his opinion on how the fear of concussions and other risks were driving athletes away from football.
“Our country has become so liberal on things that there’s an attack on it (football),” Price said.
Red Springs head coach Lawrence Ches focused more on his team’s progression through the offseason, speaking about key returners his team has on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve got a long ways to go, but I’m confident in my coaching staff and players,” Ches said.
In a poll of the ten coaches, South Columbus and Whiteville were picked as the favorites to win the conference championship with five first-place votes apiece. Red Springs was picked to finish fourth, followed by St. Pauls and Fairmont in fifth and sixth place, respectively. South Robeson was picked to finish seventh.