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High school football coach fired after holding baptism service for 20 of his players after practice

Niamh Shackleton

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| Last updated 

High school football coach fired after holding baptism service for 20 of his players after practice

Featured Image Credit: WSAV / Facebook

A high school football coach has been fired from his job following his involvement in having 20 students baptized.

A video was posted on Tattnall County Football Facebook page last month were a handful of students were seen being baptized after a game.

The boys are dunked into a large trough by Pastor Gary Few in the religious event that was reportedly organized by coach, Isaac Ferrell.

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The post shared on October 24 read: "Yesterday after practice Coach Ferrell gave the guys the opportunity to be baptized by Pastor Few. 20 young men made the decision to go #ALLIN with Christ!! Show them some support."

The event sparked a lot of criticism, with local group The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) labelling it as 'unconstitutional'.

"The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling out the Tattnall County High School football coach for abusing his position to baptize players," the foundation penned on its website.

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Students were baptized after a game. Credits: Tattnall County Football/Facebook
Students were baptized after a game. Credits: Tattnall County Football/Facebook

Its statement went on: "Student athletes are especially susceptible to coercion, since they know that their coaches control their playing time and positions - directly affecting students’ opportunities for college scholarships and recruitment.

"When coaches invite a pastor to repeatedly preach to student athletes and try to convince those students to be baptized, the students will no doubt feel that participating in these religious activities is essential to pleasing their coaches and being viewed as a team player."

FFRF further argued that it is 'unrealistic and unconstitutional' for students to be made to have their constitutional rights 'violated' to stay in their coaches and peers' good books.

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The foundation urged the school to investigate the situation.

Ferrell is reported to have since been fired from his position of coach, but superintendent Kristen Waters has said that his firing isn't to do with the baptizm.

The coach has been named as Isaac Ferrell. Credits: WSAV
The coach has been named as Isaac Ferrell. Credits: WSAV

“Based on the outcome of an investigation into an incident that occurred Friday night, Nov. 3 while traveling after the football game, the District decided that it would seek a Head football coach that aligned with the best interests of the students,” Waters announced in a statement to WSAV.

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Waters went on to say that the baptizms are still being investigated.

She added: "As to any other allegations, the District does not comment during ongoing investigations."

While Ferrell has been fired as head football coach at the high school, he remains employed by the district as a teacher.

Topics: News, US News, School, Football

Niamh Shackleton
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