While Facebook and other social media sites buzzed over the seven-day suspension of Floyd County High School football coach Winfred Beale for something that apparently pissed off the powers that be in the school system, the varsity team gave Beale an appropriate and lasting gift Friday night in Hillsville — a 28-6 pasting of the Carroll County Cavaliers in the season opener.
The victory against a tough opponent was a tribute to the popular coach who has been a major part of football and the school for 36 years.
Beale’s suspension ends Sunday and will, we hope, be back at the helm of the football program on Monday. The suspension only applied to football. He was in the classroom, teaching science, last week.
On social media, the talk centered on “gag orders” supposedly issued on student athletes and focus of what was considered “minor” or “trumped up” charges of minor violations by Beale, including supposedly holding one practice too many, too many technical fouls and other alleged acts.
School principal Scott Watson and superintendent Kevin Harris cite privacy laws that cover personnel issues as the reasons for no details on what actions prompted the suspension.
In the meantime, t-shirts supporting Beale are already in circulation and are expected to adorn many in the stands when the Buffaloes take on Patrick County at home on Friday of next week.
Among those expressing concern is Little River Supervisor Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch, who posted on Facebook:
Our quiet County was once again rattled not by the earth moving but by what many perceive as unjust treatment to a role model, teacher, beloved coach and all around decent human being. It made many angry, it made many sad. It made many question What Is Going On? I do not have any answers. It is a personnel matter and therefore not disclosed. Am I troubled by it all? YES. I wanted to see in writing what “rules” were violated, what “policy” was not followed on a local Floyd County School Division level? I will probably pursue finding answers to my questions.
Kuchenbuch praised Beale for his professional actions this past week, noting that he was in the classroom, continuing to teach science “as he has done now for 36 years.”
“He rose above it,” she said. “Our community although angry, rose above it and most of all our young student athletes & their coaches rose above it. This is what makes us all proud to be part of Floyd County.”
Beale is a popular and beloved teacher and coach in the high school. He has been for more than three decades.
Many Floyd Countians feel Beale has been mistreated. They want and demand an explanation.