Granite City High School and its Board of Education didn’t recommend the renewal of its head football coach Orlando “Doc” Gooden for the 2020 football season.
Gooden was a former standout athlete at Cahokia as a former coach with the Comanches. In addition, Gooden continued his career at the University of Missouri and at Indiana State University.
Gooden compiled a 3-6 record in his first season at Granite City despite playing a majority of talented freshmen at the varsity level and seemed to be turning the culture around in a competitive way for the Warriors.
However, this situation seems to be a bit strange.
Getting only one year to turn around a dismal program for years like Granite City is not good at all, despite the recommendations from the Director of Athletics John Moad and principal Daren De Pew at the high school to rehire Gooden.
Granite City Board of Education and its Athletic Department isn’t immune to controversy. It was just two years ago that the school left the Southwestern Conference because of allegations that a gun was seen at an East St. Louis Flyers basketball game. Those allegations were unfounded. In addition, they tried to get other Conference members to vote in favor of all installing metal detectors for all athletic events, which was voted down by conference members so fast they subsequently left.
In addition, Granite City thought that the South Seven Conference or the Mississippi Valley Conference would welcome them with open arms. However, that wasn’t and hasn’t been the case either.
According to the Illinois High School Association website, Granite City, nicknamed the Warriors, has an enrollment of 1,809 students located in Madison County.
With all of their athletic woes, it must be noted, with a growing and ever present minority population, they currently don’t have any African Americans as teachers in the high school. In addition, now the only black head coach is Gerard Moore, who is the boys’ varsity basketball coach. Now, Moore, too, has been reassigned out of the high school in the last 60 days.
I smell a rat at the high school, and it’s not the fault of Orlando Gooden.
Citizens and especially parents in this community need to take a closer look at what’s going on at Granite City High School.
The defending Class 3A state basketball champion East St. Louis Flyers, coached by Mark Chambers, allowed CBC standout Caleb Love to score 42 points in the Cadets 68-62 victory at East St. Louis last Saturday night in the City of Champions MLK Classic.
It must be noted that East St. Louis shouldn’t and won’t have any problems getting back to Peoria and the Final Four of the state tournament this year. However, the program has no signature wins this season, having losses to powers such as Cardinal Ritter College Prep, Raymore-Peculiar High School, Collinsville, Vashon and CBC. The Flyers have an abundance of talented players on the roster.
And to all my haters who might say I’m hating, please be aware I’ve not written one word negative about the program, because of the loyalty I have to many of the players who I’ve coached on the roster and still have excellent relationships with them and their parents and families. However, it is what it is.