Providing a level playing field

Dear Editor,

As a former Hobbton teacher and ongoing supporter of all Wildcat athletics, especially the impressive track program Jeff Klaves has built, I find myself full of questions that I’m amazed even need to be asked. How is it that Hobbton does not have a track when all other schools do? How can we consider this to be equitable for the students, coaches, athletes, and community members across this county?

The Oct. 28 article mentioned that Klaves has built this program from almost non-existent to “being ranked in North Carolina’s top 20.” Additionally, he took 10 track athletes, an unheard of number, especially at a 1A school, to participate in the NCHSAA State Championships last year. He has coached athletes to two state titles and several top five finishes. And he has done all of this without a track.

In fact, Klaves has taken it upon himself to raise the money to provide his team with the few things they do have, including the gas money so they can attend track meets and visit other high schools to practice on their track, a fact I find both unfortunate and unacceptable.

Here I’d like to note that this is not a new conversation. Klaves has followed the appropriate chain of command and protocol in an attempt to provide his athletes, and all members of the Hobbton community, with adequate facilities—the same adequate facilities all other Sampson County high schools have.

Imagine what the Hobbton track program can achieve if we simply provide them a level playing field.


Michael Cook

Decatur, IL 62522