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JCM Students Protest Football Coaches Firing

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

WEST JACKSON, Tenn. - Dozens of protesters gathered outside Jackson Central-Merry High school today. Head football coach of the Cougars Mantez Edwards and his assistant coach were both relieved of their duties on the field angering many students parents and athletes.

Tammie Vinson says her son was distraught following the firing of Coach Edwards.
"My son called me yesterday and said 'Mamma they just fired the coach' and I said huh and he said we don't know why. And guess what we still don't know why," she said.

Throughout the day protests broke out on the campus resulting in the Jackson Police Department being called to the school area multiple times.

"We're not going to stop. It is just going to get bigger and bigger. And we're just going to get more support," Fredick Maclin a JCM football player said.

Tammy Vinson's son is JCM's Quarterback she says she believes the firing was due to a personal issue between the Principal and coach.

"My thing is, if he is just so bad that they had to fire him then why keep him at your school as a teacher?" she said.

JCM Senior Denardo Goff says because of Coach Edwards he's going to college, and without him he would've ended up on the streets.

"I just wanted to cry my feelings were hurt. I looked at him I'm not going to say as like a father figure but something real close to that," he said.

This season coach Edwards brought the cougars to the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Vinson says his firing could impact her sons college career.

"That's the scary part about it. Last night he couldn't sleep. He said 'Mama what am I going to d?' he said 'I can't even go to sleep'. I said just pray".

JCM students and parents say they just want to know why someone like Coach Edwards was taken from them.

"You cant even put a coach like that into words," Goff said.

Coach Edwards is currently being asked not to speak on the matter. Numerous calls to JCM Principal Jones regarding the firing went unanswered.
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