HS school football team gains concessions from coach after protesting harsh practices

Players at one of the top high school football programs in Georgia staged a walkout this week to protest practice conditions. The move worked: Their coach promised to back off going forward.

Christian Hunnicutt, coach of powerhouse Grayson High School, told the team he would conduct “lighter” practices, Atlanta TV station WSB reported. Hunnicutt and his staff responded after a large group of players did not attend practice Wednesday, Gwinnettprepsports.com reported. 

“We addressed the issue with our players and our focus is preparing for our opener (Aug. 25) against Tucker,” Hunnicutt told Gwinnettprepsports.com.

A Grayson parent told Gwinnettprepsports.com that issues with Hunnicutt dated to his arrival at Grayson last year. Multiple players suffered injuries and other physical issues during workouts in 2017, the parent said,

citing multiple ambulance trips for heat-related issues and full body cramps, multiple players with broken bones in their hands from excessive hitting in practice and players who are injured being called “soft” and being “isolated.”

Score Atlanta and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that prior to the walkout, Hunnicutt was conducting full-contact practices with players in shorts.

There were conflicting reports about whether parents had called for Hunnicutt’s firing. Hunnicutt will remain Grayson’s coach, the Score Atlanta and the AJC reported.

Grayson is the No. 1 team in Class 7A, the highest classification in Georgia. It was 10-2 last season under Hunnicutt. 

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