Crockett Co. will play with heavy hearts this fall

ALAMO, Tenn — Late Sunday afternoon the coaching staff of the Crockett County Cavaliers noticed head coach Kevin Ward was suffering from severe chest pains. The coaches called 9-1-1 later to realize Ward had suffered a heart attack. Today he had a CT scan where they confirmed he would undergo triple bypass surgery Tuesday. Taking over the helm, assistant coach J.R. Kirby. Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 9.13.48 PM

Kirby a former head coach for Munford, has the experience needed to lead a program as well as the other assistant coaches on the roster as they too have head coaching experience. But this afternoon, Kirby had to be the leader and break the news to the group.

“They took it pretty hard, but like I told them we’re here for them,” Kirby said.  “Coach Ward loves them. He’d rather be here. But all you got to do now, is go fight for your coach. Play for him every Friday night, every practice, because he’s laying on a bed right now with a lot of questions not knowing what’s going to happen next. So you go out and honor him by playing your butt off each and every Friday night.”

Kirby said the group doesn’t plan to take any steps back, and will have to keep moving forward without their leader on the sideline. He said he would love to have Ward back for the season, but there is no telling when that will happen right now. When asked how the coaches and players will stay focused with all the extra attention, Kirby said it’s going to be tough, but they will stick together.

“It’s going to be tough there’s no doubt,” Kirby said.  “We’re just going to preach to our kids, just stay together. Keep coach Ward in our prayers which we will and just do what he would expect us to do and that’s to go to work. He wouldn’t expect us to lay around here and mourn and mope, all that stuff. He wants us to go to to work. This is still his football team and we’re going to honor him by doing that.”

The team will be very young this season said Kirby, but he expects his kids to respond well when thrown in the battle.

The Cavaliers have a bye the first week of the season, but will take on Westview for their first game of the year.

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