Twiggs County residents sign petition against high school coach hiring

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Twiggs County High School just hired a new football coach, but some residents aren’t happy about it.

The field sits empty now, but some Twiggs County residents minds’ are full of football.

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“I think he left a strong program, coach Harden, which also could be improved,” said petition organizer Gregory Odoms.

The Twiggs Board of Education thought that improvement would happen with the hiring of Zackery Harris to replace Ashley Harden at the head of the program.

“The young people were the ones who came to me with the outcry,” said Odoms.

But more than 200 residents, including Odoms, weren’t happy.

“We want to see the process. How did someone with the skill and qualification of Mr. Blackshear be overcome by Mr. Harris?” said Odoms.

So they signed a petition in protest of the hiring, and in favor of the hiring of Kevin Blackshear, who’s a coach at Lithonia High School in DeKalb County.

“Based on the letter of recommendation I’ve seen on Kevin Blackshear, and what he’s capable of, he can take it to the next level,” said Odoms.

The biggest advantage Odoms sees with Blackshear–he’s from Twiggs County.

“He already has experience, he knows what to do, how to organize,” said Odoms. “And when he can bring that back to his own hometown, that’s a win-win for everyone.”

But Odoms felt the hiring process wasn’t successful.

“From listening to the superintendent, from him saying that this pick was the cream of the crop, from one of the board members saying she just went by the points that she saw before her,” said Odoms.

Filling his mind with doubt.

The Twiggs County Superintendent declined to be interviewed when asked Thursday.

Twiggs county finished 8-4 last year under head coach Ashley Harden.

Harden left for a position at Northeast High School in Macon.