Sevier County uses discretion when taking a knee

Sep. 01, 2013 @ 11:21 PM

When a football player suffers a serious injury, one that affects that player’s well-being, Sevier County coach Steve Brewer wastes no time assembling his team and offering a prayer.

It’s the minor “hurts” that require attention where the Smoky Bears continue about their business.

“In a game when we understand a player has sustained one of these hurts, not threatening in any form — this is a hurt that’s part of the game — we’ll use that time to talk to our kids, make sure they get water or whatever else,” Brewer said. “Any type of injury that may threaten a kids well-being, that’s a different story.”

A letter to the editor published on page 7 criticized the Sevier County Middle School football team — which tries to mimic the style of its high school counterparts — for not taking a knee with every injury in a recent game. Brewer said he doesn’t see teams take a knee for minor pains at higher levels of the game or other sports.

Angelo Raga, Sevier County Middle School’s first-year coach, has been an assistant coach under Brewer at Sevier County High School and was a record-setting quarterback when he attended SCHS. He declined to comment on this story.

Brewer compared game situations to practice, where a minor “hurt” doesn’t cause practice to stop. Instead a player gets attention for a cramp, turned ankle or pulled muscle and practice goes on. Similarly, if a player is badly injured in practice, a more serious response takes place.

The coach said that because football is a contact sport, there always will be temporary dings that are part of the game.

“If people want to take a knee, that’s fine,” Brewer said. “Lots of times, especially early in the season, it’s a cramp or one of these ‘part of the game’ hurts you get in football. That’s where we try to draw the line. If it looks like it will impact the kid adversely we’ll stop what we’re doing and pray for that player. It’s not a show of disrespect.”