Group complains about NC coach leading team in prayer

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — A coach has been asked to stop leading team prayers at Mooresville High School after a Wisconsin organization advocating for the separation of church and state complained to the school district, according to a report from WSOC

Coach Hal Capps would only tell WSOC they’re moving forward. However, a lot of people in the community are talking on his behalf, supporting him.

“I think he’s doing what he thinks is right,” Glenn Sander said.

Capps is a high school football coach so popular that an entire cheering section is named after him. He’s a leader on the field and, some say, a leader for the church.

“The more people who hear about Jesus the better,” Stewart said.

But talking about Jesus has gotten Capps in trouble.

“It’s really inappropriate, wrong and unconstitutional for a coach to try to use that position to try and convert people to his religion,” Patrick Elliott, with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, said.

WSOC obtained the letter sent to the Mooresville Graded School District saying Capps “frequently prays with football players at team events and encourages them to go to church and to become baptized.”

Capps coached at Western Alamance for nearly two decades before leaving in 2010.

The letter included a purported photo of a player’s baptism. The coach declined to comment, but the school district told WSOC Capps was invited to that baptism by the player. They said he was not leading it, and it happened outside of school hours, off of school property.

Read more: WSOC