QEA to bring middle school football to county

QEA to bring middle school football  to county
July 13
14:18 2022

By Timothy Ramsey

The Chronicle

One thing missing from Forsyth County sports has been middle school football. Many of the surrounding counties all have middle school football available and now the kids of Forsyth County have that option at Quality Education Academy (QEA).

There has been a push at the school for middle school football after their varsity football efforts didn’t pan out the way the school had originally envisioned. Now their goal is to start with a middle school team and then pursue a varsity team over the next few years as the kids mature.

“It was a lot of support and it was me, Coach Gould, others in the school and just the interest of the kids,” said Antonio Kirkpatrick, the middle school football head coach and assistant sports director. “Most of our kids play for some Pop Warner organization within Winston, but if they could play at their own school, that would be great.”

QEA was able to put together a seven-game schedule this fall with area teams. Their first practice will be Aug. 8 and their first game is slated for Sept. 14. The school will be holding a parent interest meeting on Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium for those who are interested in their children playing.

Kirkpatrick and sports director Devane Woodruff worked together to compile a schedule that was logical for the kids. They reached out to their contacts and fellow athletic directors in other counties and found a schedule that worked best for them. They will play all of their games on the road this season.

Kirkpatrick is still looking to fill out his coaching staff. The only position filled thus far is assistant head coach and offensive line coach Patrick Jordan.  

“I would love to reach out to the community and build relationships and partnerships within the Pop Warner realm there and maybe pull a couple young guys from there because they know the kids,” said Kirkpatrick.  

Jordan has years of experience playing the game at the collegiate level, as well as coaching for several years. He is eager to show the young men the fundamentals of the game to prepare them for higher levels of play.

“We will oversee conditioning and we don’t want to introduce them to weights this early, and we are excited about the opportunity to build something in the community and put our fingerprint on it,” said Jordan. “We also want to expose the community to our culture.”

Kirkpatrick also played college football and has coached for several years. He says their goal is to not replace youth football in Winston for the kids, but more so to provide additional training and experience for kids to enjoy the game of football.

“A lot of kids don’t play much or need some fine tuning and I think that’s something we can help with,” Kirkpatrick continued. “Our goal is to be more like a developmental program, especially with the linemen because everyone is looking to work out the skill guys, but the linemen get left out.”

Jordan and Kirkpatrick coached for several years on the Dudley coaching staff and collected multiple state championships while there. Jordan feels their most valuable experience is going to come from their time at Ben L. Smith High School, where they had to build the program from the ground up, which is similar to what they will have to do with QEA.

Jordan feels middle school football is very important to the development of players. He has nothing against Pop Warner or AYF, but thinks the kids benefit more with middle school football because the coaches are afforded more time with the kids.

“I think it’s the equivalent of elementary school to kids in regard to that’s where the foundation is built and that’s where you set the tone,” Jordan said about middle school football. “It’s the same thing with football. You start with middle school and hopefully kids get the right type of coaching on and off the field and that stuff carries over once they get to high school.”

To contact Kirkpatrick or Woodruff, please email them at and  

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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