October 28, 2021

Syltel Lovely

Singularly Lovely Education

A chaplain for the Haines City High football team? Polk County say no

HAINES CITY — In recent weeks, Matt Norman, 46, announced on his Facebook page a new position he will be holding: “I’m super excited to be serving HCHS as the football team’s chaplain.”

Nearly 50 people congratulated him, with many calling it “awesome,” and telling Norman the team would be blessed by him.

“You are following a great chaplain…seriously that is great to hear that the team continues to have an another awesome man of God leading them,” wrote Sue Warren Whiteman, whose husband, Derrick Whiteman, had been serving in that capacity. 

“(Thank) you so much. It’s an honor to follow Derrick in this role,” Norman wrote back.  

Derrick Whiteman also congratulated Norman, saying, “I can’t think of anyone better!” 

The problem is there is no official Haines City High School football team chaplain, and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that adult-led prayer in public schools and at public school events is unconstitutional.