But I believe I can provide some insight.
I've already pointed out I was out of town the last time I wrote on the matter when the resign/firing of Jamie Perkins took place. (It is officially a "resign" from the position but it takes more of a "firing" perspective).
Over the past month, I have seen tweets from the soccer player's accounts, and most of them just want to get started with summer practice.
The one problem: Summer is within a month from ending. Of that month, the High School Sports "Dead Week" is next week. Most of the other area soccer teams are done with their scrimmage games against other high schools. The defending 5A State Champions are already finding themselves behind the 8-ball - and they all know it, and they know it will be another two weeks until they can get anything started.
Now, I have received word that a new Boys Soccer Coach has been found. The problem is it won't be publicly announced until July 22nd, when the Oxford School Board meets again to approve of the change. The 22nd would occur after the dead week period so it is likely the Boys soccer team will hardly have done any practice (that is IF there is practice) by the end of the summer break. The Boys Soccer Chargers are tired of waiting (let alone waiting to hear WHY Perkins was fired/had resigned) while the Girls Team can have a full summer with their coach of practices, workouts and games.
Now while "clinics" have been organized for the remaining soccer players from last year's team, this is nothing like the practice and games other schools got. It is a crime to what this team accomplished last year.
When the resign/firing was made, an e-mail sent days later to the parents of the OHS Boys Soccer team from the Oxford Booster Club president:
We are all frustrated by the recent events concerning the boys soccer program. Many of us have been around long enough to fully appreciate the amazing strides made in recent years- - progress which led to Oxford's first state championship. All of us want our sons to have the best chance to repeat next year and to make annual appearances in the state championship game.
My wife and I are deeply grateful for Coach Perkins and his success at Oxford High School. We have three children who collectively own six state championship rings, all from teams led by Coach Perkins. Jamie has a unique ability to communicate with and motivate young people. My children will always have fond memories of playing and participating under "Coach Perk" and are thankful for his positive impact on their lives.
I became aware about a week ago of some issues with Coach Perkins. As soon as I learned the facts, I knew that Mr. Harvey could not permit Jamie to continue coaching. Any of you standing in Mr. Harvey's shoes with the same information would have reached the same conclusion. He made the right decision for the right reasons. Personally, I am disappointed, angry and sad. I wish(ed) Coach Perkins could have continued to lead our boys soccer program. My wife and I wanted our son to have a "Coach Perk ring", too.
As the parents of the youngest player on the new team, My wife and I fully understand the frustration upon hearing that our boys must endure another tryout. However, we feel it is only fair that the new coach have a chance to select the team. The new coach may have a different skill set. The new coach may decide that his junior varsity spots are better filled with 8th-10th graders and not 7th graders. But we should not tie the new coach to decisions made by the former coach. More importantly, however, the new tryout must take place in fairness to all boys who want to play soccer for the Chargers. Too many questions exist about the integrity of the tryouts in early May. If my son does not deserve to make the Charger soccer team in an untainted process, my wife and I will simply have to find him another place to play the game.
From serving as President of the Oxford Charger Athletics Booster Club this past year, I know first hand that Mr. Harvey, Mr. Martin and Coach Hill want only the best for all of our student-athletes. I never heard "no" from the OSD and OHS administrations in response to any request to provide support for one of our teams. These gentlemen were successful high school athletes and were or remain successful high school coaches and athletic administrators. They enjoy not just athletic competition but winning championships. It was with great pleasure that Coach Hill watched our boys defeat Starkville and Pearl, Oxford's main competitors for the All Sports Award. These men want to give our boys soccer team the best chance to win and to win the Oxford Way.
Mr. Harvey, Coach Hill, and Coach Nash are aggressively pursuing a new coach. We are an attractive location, as you know, and they will make the right hire. To be fair , this is not the easiest time of the year to find a high school coach, as most coaches have already signed their contracts for the next year. Personally, I would prefer to have an interim for a period of time rather than make a rushed decision on a permanent hire. The future of Charger boys soccer is bright, and we deserve an experienced coach to continue developing our program.
Coach Matt Mott (head soccer coach at Ole Miss) has offered to conduct some clinics in the interim. For those of you who do not know Coach Mott, he has three children in the OSD. Last year, he "loaned" us one of his graduated assitant coaches, Mike Melton, who was an integral part of our championship season. Coach Hill and Coach Nash are working through the logistics for these clinics. They are also making the other arrangements as necessary to insure that our boys get the best training possible this summer under the circumstances.
My wife and I have enjoyed the past two years as soccer parents with my son. We are hopeful that we will have six more years as soccer parents with our other son. We are excited about the future of the Oxford Chargers Boys Soccer Team. We are confident that the OSD administration is making the right decisions to provide long-term stability and successs for our program.
First: WHAT FACTS is Mayo talking about? Never once did Mayo describe the so-called "facts" that led to the termination process that Superintendent Brian Harvey came to. Harvey is not allowed by law to explain those facts because the resign reason was a "personal matter". If "facts" are going to be brought up, actually explain those "facts." Because all you are bringing up is questions and controversy than what this email is intended to do - give answers and reassurance. I'm sure they are not "R" or "NC-17" rated facts that will give us a heart attack and die from them.
Second: WHY was it the right decision? WHAT reasons were there? Neither of those were answered in this email either. I am SO sure that we should just take his word for it. (Note the heavy degree of sarcasm used here) People that are involved in Boys Soccer (especially the athletes) deserve to know why, either tell the team EXACTLY what happened in private or give us the facts publicly this email eluded to but did not explain.
The underlined part almost screams controversy, not in how Perkins was terminated, but this explains how sports politics where involved and led a domino effect in causing the coaching change.
During the first tryouts, seven unbiased independent coaches were involved in selecting the OHS Boys Soccer team, exactly a format used by the Cheerleading Team in selecting the OHS Cheerleaders year in and year out where they must do a routine in tryouts in front of several unbiased independent judges. The opponents of this coaching change move rightfully have their own questions to this: HOW was the first tryout "unfair" to everyone? What questions exist in the integrity of the tryouts? Last I checked this wasn't a popularity contest, that is not how Oxford won that State Championship everyone forgot about 5 months ago. The bolded sentence was not necessary to type - because it just asks many more questions as to how a tryout process was "tainted". None of these questions have been answered oh by the way.
Correct me if I'm wrong, didn't Oxford win a State Championship under Perkins' direction 5 months ago using kids he chose to run a style of soccer he used that was successful in winning that Championship?
And this coaching change could not come at a worse time besides the oblivious reason of coming off a State Championship. It came in the summer and having a parent at another school who is a coach to go off of on a daily basis, contracts for teachers have just been signed and are currently running. There are not that many options to find a coach to take this job, let alone come to a school that has seen three coaching changes in the last six years, many times for reasons that were never explained. It also left the Girls Track program in the dust because of this entire mess and had to search for other options, which Oxford was fortunate to find current Cross Country coach Chris Patton to take over the job just a few days ago.
It looks like this entire email is a cover up.
I have mentioned that the Mississippi Flood D1 Soccer program and the Oxford Park Commission have seemingly played a role as well and this tryout issue may not have been the only factor. The following was part of a (long) comment made on the "We're with Coach Perkins" Facebook page.
We've even spoken to city officials that have done their research and acknowledge that this whole predicament was started from personal (note: not personnel) issues involving a competitive soccer program. It's ludicrous to think this is somehow involved...yet all signs point to it. Why did we choose the Flood? We took a chance. We loved when our daughter practiced with your daughters' U10 OPC team. The two coaches worked well together and the girls looked like they were having fun. Our daughter was intimidated by she progressed in only a couple of months. However, I knew she would never catch up and be able to play for that team. While they were OPC backed I knew they were run by two parents with a desire to win and the ability to reach out to those girls. So when we tried out for the OPC U8 team we were worried about the absence of what I just stated above. The parental advisory team I was on had systematically unsold me on the selected Coach [OHS Girls Soccer Coach Laura] (Flynt's) abilities. OPC had stressed to me the commitment level of both the coach and the team manager yet the manager was overheard saying they weren't in fact committed. So that night, while our daughter was trying out, we decided to take a chance. And to further my point and provide the justification for our decision, we watched the OPC U8 program travel to a tournament...with no support other than the coach for the younger group. No Flynt, no team manager, no youth soccer director, no OPC director...I felt bad for those girls and their parents. They were "abandoned". They have bad mouthed and spread rumors about a group of people I call my circle of trust. And to have someone lose their ability to provide for their family because they choose one program over another is...well...it's ludicrous.
In the past spring soccer season, Perkins had one of his daughters playing in the OPC Recreation league at the U8 level. She was easily the best player on her team and won both games that I happened to be refereeing for those nights.
This is JUST SPECULATING and procrastinating, but I believe he wanted to have his daughter play at the D1 level and in addition asked his players that the club was open to his team for the upcoming tryouts to participate in D1 competition - but if they wanted to play D2 or D3 tournaments that is fine but wanted them to play D1 so that his team could be better ready to defend their title by playing easily much better competition.
For those that do not know, D3 (Division 3) is a recreational league and is basically for soccer players that are not that skilled in the sport. D2 is for skilled players - also known as the "Challenge" league and for those seeking for better competition. OPC offers teams in both D2 and D3.
D1 is the "Select" league - basically for highly-skilled players who are like travel baseball teams - travel around to other rather close areas (Memphis, Tupelo, Clinton, both Jacksons in Tennessee and Mississippi, etc...) and play tournaments to not only hone in their skills, but to also win many tournaments. This is what the Flood provides but not OPC, but the Flood does not do D2 or D3 either.
The parents here that are actively involved with OPC AND the OHS Boys Soccer program did not like that Perkins is supporting his players to play with the Flood program and not with OPC. If you point back to the first sentence of the last quote, it was noted that Oxford City officials have acknowledged that a personal problem was what started all this.
Being a soccer referee and having done Tournaments all over the place, the two coaches mentioned in the last quote used to coach for an OPC D2 Challenge team. It was about 9 months since doing their last friendly match until I saw those two coaches at the President's Cup (the Ultimate D2 Mississippi tournament) and at the time, I had no idea who the Flood were. I was told by those coaches after doing one of their games at the Presidents' Cup that they were basically fired from coaching with OPC because the two coaches were doing stuff they did not like and thus started up the Flood program.
So, finally in putting all the pieces together - my logical breakdown is that the two coaches that run Flood were fired from OPC from coaching, the two of them open up the Flood D1 program, Perkins sees that he likes that program so he asks his kids to participate in it. Upon OPC learning this, they tried to get Perkins to stop doing this last summer because of obvious reasons to OPC and that they were afraid of losing kids to the Flood. Perkins did the same thing this summer and in addition may have taken kids onto his team from tryouts (thus the "tainting, unfair" part described here) because they were involved already with the very same D1 program and not OPC - basically getting caught in a lie and was told to quit coaching after that.
I'm not saying that is it because like most everyone else we have not been told directly exactly why, but I am very sure that is close to 100% accurate. I like many other people involved have been left in the dark.
Going back to some of the Twitter Feeds, I've noticed a few red flags that help prove my point:
This was the Booster Club's LAST tweet PRIOR to Oxford Boys Soccer Winning the State Championship:
Here was the Oxford Park Commission's LAST tweet PRIOR to Oxford Boys Soccer Winning the State Championship
This is the FIRST tweet AFTER the State Championship:
This is the FIRST Tweet AFTER the Championship:
And if that was not enough, the controller of this account had the state of mind to post THIS tweet out - while it is appreciated for the OHS Tennis team, where exactly was this support for the soccer program (either for that matter) - a program that OPC has the most participants in? I should point out that the two soccer Twitter accounts OPC runs now did not exist at the time Oxford won the State Championship.
I just retired at age 65. 43 years of teaching college and high school. 25 of those years I coached. I got out of coaching when my son graduated and started playing college ball. After coaching I officiated for 15 years. I had more time to go see my son play.
I have seen it all and in some cases I have seen the tail wagging the dog. I have seen parents that thought their "little darling" was an All-American when they were just average high school ball players. When these self-appointed parents found out that their "Spoiled Rotten" kids did not make the team they had a temper tantrum. They (had) two choices... change to a school where the competition is not as good so the "little darling" could make the team or go to their crony good ole boy school board member and get rid of the coach. Well that appears to be the situation here.
You (had) a very successful coach with two very successful programs and now he (was) forced out by "know it all's" that are trying to live their lives through their children. These parents are flexing their power over the school board to get their revenge. When you have weak minded board members look for many changes in the system. Sounds like these people have adopted the Tennessee philosophy of there should not be winners or losers, because it scars the losers. Connect with reality losers... work harder and get better or move on to something you are better in.
The great thing about sports is you can line two people up and race to the finish... no politics, no bipartisan, rhetoric, no class system; the one that gets there first is the winner. It looks like the program here is losing because of weak minded people.