PARKERSBURG - Coaching any kind of team can be difficult, but sometimes parents take it too far when it comes to confronting their child's issues.
Parkersburg Police arrested a Parkersburg man on Sept. 27 after a confrontation between the man and his son's football coach at a practice the night before.
Steven Wayne Britton, 41, was arrested at his residence on Homeland Avenue in Parkersburg after starting the confrontation with Hamilton Middle School football coach Robert Davis, according to police.
Britton approached Davis screaming and putting his finger in Davis' face. At some point during the altercation, Britton allegedly said he "put three bullets in the last man to cross (him)," police said.
Area football coaches said any problems involving parents can easily be resolved with a discussion and open lines of communication.
Mike Eddy, the head football coach at Parkersburg South High School, said there are always issues when anyone is confronted with a large group of individuals and their families. He said he coaches about 70 athletes, meaning about 140 parents, and the chances are high he is going to have some kind of conflict at some point.
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"I'm never going to be able to make all those people happy with the decisions I make," he said. "Ultimately you have to do the best you can for the group of individuals - not singling any one person out."
Eddy is a first-year football coach at South this season and a special education teacher at the school, he said.
"I tell parents the same thing as (the) players," Eddy said. "I'm not always going to be able to tell you what you want to hear, but I will be willing to find the best solution possible."
Eddy said in his school work and his coaching he constantly keeps the lines of communications open.
Danny Tennant was a coach for Parkersburg Catholic High School football for 27 years and said he never had any major issues with parents. He said when he did have an issue, it was usually the same problem.
"The main concern is the child's playing time," said Tennant, now the school's athletic director. "Sometimes they don't feel they get enough."
Tennant said as the athletic director for the past 11 years he hasn't had to step in for any of the coaches at PCHS.
"A lot of the coaches handle their situations as they feel they need to," he said.
Terry Smith, the head baseball and football coach for Williamstown High School, said he looks at coaching as owing the parents and tries to listen to what they have to say.
"I've always told myself and tried to think that this athlete is this parent's pride and joy," Smith said. "I really feel like I owe them to listen to what they have to say."
Smith said the issue is often playing time, in either sport, and he has also coached his son. He said he has tried to balance and be fair when it comes to playing time for all the children.
"You don't want them to have hurt feelings," Smith said of all the student athletes.
With a background in special education as well, Smith is currently the physical education teacher at WHS and said he realizes how much stress a parent can have on them.