Football coach works to create opportunities for students

Watch: Football coach works to create opportunities for students

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Following SCS’s decision to postpone fall sports, Whitehaven football coach Rodney Saulsberry says it’s now about making the most of the situation.

“My thought process now is how can we innovate? What else can we do?” Saulsberry told FOX13.

Still, he says it doesn’t lessen the frustrations.

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“It is difficult to see other people playing around you and as a child, that’s all you think,” he said. “A child is ‘My friend outside, I can’t go outside, I’m outside.’ That’s a child’s thought process and I can understand it.”

Saulsberry told FOX13 he has 25 seniors, with only a couple having offers. He said he expects at least 10 or more to play at the next level.

He said a football season is so valuable for many seniors across the city.

“For some, football is the only avenue they have to pay for college and to finance college opportunities,” he said. “It may not be the only thing they have but it is the greatest opportunity to finance that opportunity.”

Saulsberry and his coaching colleagues are finding ways to provide exposure for their kids.

Saulsberry said he held a combine in the summer but more needs to be done. He said players need to be in competitive environments. Possible ideas include allowing teams to hold scrimmages.

“So, everyone’s been doing everything they’re supposed to do and keeping kids safe,” he said. “We’ve been practicing with no incidents. So, if we can have an SCS bubble and play a few games, just anything is better than zero.”

Saulsberry said he and his staff are fighting for their players. He also supports the athletes who protested outside the school board Wednesday morning.

Saulsberry told FOX13 he isn’t losing faith.

“Faith is really working when you don’t see the end,” he said. “I love these kids because they still continue to fight, still continue to work even though we’re uncertain.”

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