Forsyth County has the potential to compete

Forsyth County has the potential to compete
September 22
13:54 2021

I recently celebrated my sixth year as a reporter with The Chronicle and that led me to start thinking about some of the great athletes that have come through the county and how Forsyth stacks up against some of the other larger counties in the state; namely, Guilford, Wake, Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cumberland counties.

During my time at The Chronicle, I have seen some very good athletes come through Forsyth County schools in multiple sports. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer and even volleyball teams around the county have produced Division I talent. But I think it can be better.

When it comes to football and basketball, Forsyth County has routinely come up short in big playoff games against some of the earlier mentioned counties. Forsyth County schools have a little over 50,000 students, making it the fourth largest school district in the state.

In contrast, Wake County has over 160,000, Charlotte-Mecklenburg has nearly 150,000, and Guilford County has over 72,000 kids. Based on numbers alone, there is a greater chance that those counties will have a bigger pool of athletes to build teams. 

Even with that discrepancy in numbers, you usually find a Forsyth Countys school fighting for a state championship nearly every year. Outside of the recent championships by East Forsyth and Mt. Tabor in football and Winston-Salem Prep in basketball, state championships have been scarce in Forsyth County. I think that could change with a few adjustments to how things are done.

As I have laid out in previous articles, choice schools and the number of high schools in the county deplete the talent pool that would allow most of the high schools to compete in and out of the area. I am not going to dive back into those subjects, because you know what they say about beating a dead horse.

Another issue that is hindering Forsyth County from competing at a higher level is the lack of middle school football. Yeah, we have AFL and Pop Warner football, but those leagues are not directly tied into the local high schools and they have their own issues.

Middle school football is not the be-all, end-all, but it would help with players making the transition from middle school football to high school easier. Usually with middle school football, they run a similar system as to what the local high school runs, so in essence, they are running a junior JV program.

Many of the counties that consistently find themselves in the hunt for state championships in this state have middle school football. I am not sure why Forsyth County does not have it, but it is needed, sooner than later.

Middle school football is also a better option than AYF or Pop Warner because of the upgrade in coaching. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great coaches in youth football, but I have personally witnessed more lackluster coaching with several programs in the area than I’d like to see.

It seems some of these coaches are more concerned about their own win/loss record than teaching these kids the proper way to play the game. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, BRO. No one is going to remember who won the 6U state championship, or who was the 10U national runner-up. That’s not what youth football was created to do.  

Yes, you should be proud that your team enjoyed some success while you were coaching them, but too often I see the focus of the game being shifted from the players to the coaches and that’s wrong. I don’t know if these coaches are living through their players to fulfill their own athletic dreams or what, but it’s corny.

Also, some of these youth football teams are so stacked with talent that they dominate most of the local talent without much coaching at all. I have seen some coaches allow their star players to basically call the shots on the team, just to keep them happy. That crap would not go down with middle school football.

The parents also play a big role in this as well. Parents push and pull their kids from different programs because they are not happy and never ask the kids what they want. I have heard of parents pulling a starting player off of his team to join another team because the second team was more successful. And guess what, that young man rode the bench, aside from the required number of plays he had due to the rules of the league.

Do you think that kid was happy to leave his coaches, friends and starting position behind, just to ride the bench on a winning team? I think not. It’s time we let these kids be kids and enjoy the game for the sake of the game. If they win, great; if not, oh well. As long as the kids had fun and learned to play the game the right way, that should be satisfaction enough.  

If these kids had middle school football, it would be more regimented and many of the issues that are present in youth football would not go on there, because they would not have the option to just switch teams. Also, I think the players would get an upgrade in the area of coaching, because there would be less teams, so the best of the best in youth coaching would be the ones coaching our kids.

I feel there is so much untapped potential here in Forsyth County. I think if certain adjustments are made, teams from Forsyth County would have no issue competing with those from Charlotte, Raleigh or Greensboro, year in and year out.  

Let’s hope the powers that be can see the benefit of change to the current system and the benefits of athletics for a young person on and off the field.

About Author

Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors