ELKIN - In the midst of Yadkinville Sertoma football commissioner Charles Collins’ arrest for embezzlement by an insurance agent earlier this month, Elkin’s youth football teams are staying put.
Elkin City Schools Superintendent Randy Bledsoe and Elkin Youth League Director Scott Wagoner both confirmed that the city’s Sertoma teams will play out the remainder of the 2012 schedule, while severing financial ties with Collins and his insurance agency Moore-Moxley in Yadkinville.
“I do know in talking with the leadership with the Elkin Youth League, that right now, they are going to continue to play their schedules,” Bledsoe explained. “They already have a bank account for the youth program. And until we are notified through Sertoma of what we need to be doing, they will be keeping all of the funds in that account.
“The schools that have been playing each other will continue to play out their schedules this fall, but the financial ties with Mr. Collins will not take place,” he added.
The Sertoma league consists of teams from Wilkes, Alleghany and Ashe counties and Elkin with three different age groups: junior pee wee (3rd and 4th grade), pee wee (5th and 6th) and midget (7th and 8th). Teams from Yadkin County participated in the league until last season.
Bledsoe and Wagoner said talks of where Elkin will play following this season will take place during the offseason.
“The teams that are in Sertoma now are going to get through this season as scheduled. Then the league reps are going to sit down and discuss plans for next season during the offseason,” Wagoner said. “Nothing formal has been talked about between us yet.”
“We are not committing anywhere,” Bledsoe added. “Mr. Wagoner, who heads up our organization, is ready to continue leading our group here and organizing so that play continues this fall. Scott and I met [last Tuesday] and right now, there are no talks beyond this football season. They are not making any commitments. It all depends on how things fall into place and who still wants to be a part of it.
“But the way it’s looking right now, Sertoma as we have seen it, probably will no longer exist,” he continued.
Yadkin County teams pulled out of Sertoma last year amid suspicions with Collins, but Bledsoe said there was no evidence to warrant leaving the league at that time.
“Last year when these allegations were made, that was just it – they were just allegations of improprieties. Quite a few of us asked ‘show me the evidences,’ and there were no evidences, only allegations,” he explained. “We did meet as a group of superintendents with Sertoma leadership and said ‘here’s what we need to see next year,’ and then this situation that happened involving his insurance agency.
“There was no factual information of wrongdoing when the decision was made for the schools to stay together; only allegations,” Bledsoe added.
Following the removal from Sertoma, Yadkin County Youth League officials created their own youth league - the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference. Bledsoe did not rule out the possibility of Elkin teams joining that league, saying “we really don’t know what is going to happen next year. It’ll be determined later.”
While having no “financial or governing aspects” with the Elkin Youth League, Bledsoe said he will continue to help create a league suitable for children in the area.
“The main concern that I had was my kids. What we have to understand about Elkin is that these are our children,” he said. “Yes, they belong to the youth football league, but they are still my kids. And it’s our feeder program.
“We want to make sure our kids have an opportunity to play ball and that everything is going right because we have tremendous parental, community and volunteer support for our football program. And anything I can do to help them, I’ll try and do that,” Bledsoe added.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or email@example.com.