Local high school football coach discuss national anthem protest with team

New Hanover head football coach Earl Smith is ahead of the game when it comes to discussion of the national anthem, even though it might be unintentionally.

Smith had the conversation with his team last Thursday prior to the Wildcats' game against South Brunswick.

During the game, both teams wore special uniforms in support of the National Guard.

"We are going to stand by what we are doing and supporting our troops," Smith said Monday. "I believe in protests, and we talked about that and our guys listen and they understood."

What to do during the national anthem isn't an issue during Wildcat home games. The team isn't on the field during the anthem.

Hoggard head coach Craig Underwood hasn't discussed the anthem or protests with his team, but he has expectations for players.

"We just expect our guys to be respectful," Underwood said. "We talk a lot about character and the things that go along with our program and I don't see any issue there."

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