E.K. Slaughter is on a football mission. The Red Bank High School coach is recruiting coaches for a trip to Costa Rica during spring break, March 23-30.
"It's a football outreach in conjunction with SCORE International," said Slaughter, who will be taking his family to Honduras over Christmas break on another outreach trip.
The spring-break trip originally was for the Red Bank coaching staff but has opened up to others.
"There is an opportunity for up to 50 people," Slaughter said. "We want everybody who gets the paper to have a chance to go on this trip with us. I have sent letters from here to Knoxville and Nashville. They don't have to be just football coaches or men, and those who go will have the opportunity to take their families."
He wanted it to be clear, though, that this is a working spring break, an opportunity to serve others.
"There will be some football clinics with some of their coaches and students. They do play football down there," he said. "We'll also be involved in some construction, although I don't know what it will be specifically. It is a chance to serve the people of Costa Rica, and that's the main thing.
"A lot of times on these trips you may go for seven days and on the seventh day you might be scheduled for a trip to the beach. I said no beach trip. We're going to work and serve. We'll be going from daylight to dark."
Slaughter, who returned to Red Bank as the Lions' head coach this year, is taking his wife (Arlene) and his children on the trip to Honduras.
"My wife has been very supportive," he said. "This is the road I am on, and I want her and the family to know what I'm about and why. This is something that's near and dear to me. I think coaches have one of the most influential platforms of any group of people in this country, and I want them to maximize that platform."
Red Bank assistants who've already penciled in spring break to accompany Slaughter are Jake Ledbetter and Chuck Janow.
Asked if there wasn't a better way to spend spring break, Slaughter replied, "Not in my opinion. This is something for which I have a passion. And I guarantee to those that go that they'll gain more than they could ever give."
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...