DELMARVA – Local athletes are speaking out after comments were made about their abilities.
Last week, coach Jake Coleman released a statement saying:
“When they graduate it’s tough – you know you have to replace them, here’s the other thing, the other teams we’re playing their seniors against also graduated, unless they went to the Wi-Hi,” says Aleishia Gibson.
Aleishia Gibson, a football parent at Wicomico High School, is disgusted after a coach makes comments about WiHi’s academic abilities.
“It’s not something you joke about these days, sorry it’s just unacceptable,” Aleishia Gibson said.
She tells 47ABC that as the mom of the team, she took great offense to the comment because the team and the school are always labeled as the underdogs. Coach Jake Coleman of Stephen Decatur’s football team posted an apology on Facebook saying:
“I sincerely apologize to anyone who saw and listened to the callous comment I made during an interview with Bill Baker regarding football here on the shore. While I thought I was making a joke about reclassification, I now realize how thoughtless and inappropriate the comment was.
I especially want to apologize to all the student-athletes at WiHi for implying – however unintentionally – something negative about them. As a coach, I recognize the level of influence I have. Not just on the student I coach, but on our sports community. I promise that I will strive to do and be better in the future.
Wicomico students speak and 47ABC spoke with some tribesmen. Running back BJ Cook and cornerback Michael McKinley said they were both initially shocked by the comment. Wide Receiver Jayce Freeman says his school is looked down upon but they are capable of so much more.
“They always try to label us as the ghetto school or the school that always has problems, but once you come here, you see the environment, and the school environment, and the people here and their characteristics. , it’s not a bad place at all.” Freeman tells 47ABC.
The Wide Receiver says his team needs to keep up the good work. Freeman isn’t the only one to share the same WiHi pride. Cornerback Michael Mckinley says WiHi’s numbers are actually higher than people think.
“I would just say that all of our seniors on the team have all signed on to the program and we’re all getting 3.0 ratings or better,” McKinley said.
47ABC reached out to school officials in Wicomico and they would not comment on the specific situation. However, they said:
“The Wicomico High School Football Program recently completed an incredible season as Salisbury Town Champions with a 9-2 under 3 record.rd coach of the year Isaiah Taylor. These student-athletes not only excel on the field, but they are equally accomplished in the classroom. Of this 2021 Tribe Football Squad, all 14 seniors are on track to graduate, eight of fourteen are heading to college, and 38 players have received the Mind In Motions Certificate for achieving a 3 GPA, 25 or more and have made the honor roll.
Running Back BJ Cook says the facts should speak for themselves.
“In terms of the numbers and the people involved, we are definitely one of the best schools in the 2.47 county, so I think if we keep doing this, it will turn out to be 2.52 someday and everyone will see that. says Cook.
The 3 students 47 ABC spoke with have big plans after high school. Jayce Freeman gets a full scholarship to Stony Brook, Michael Mckinley goes to the Air Force, and BJ has several offers on the table, but he’s still undecided.