Flowers Name Coach of the Week

On a clear Friday evening in September, Maurice Flowers watched as West Charlotte High School renamed their football stadium after the late Jack Martin, one of the great coaches and teachers in West Charlotte history.

With some of Martin's great players in attendance, Flowers knew how special this moment was to the school. He also knew that the time has come to bring back the pride of the mighty Lions.

The Carolina Panthers have named Coach Maurice Flowers as a 2007 Coach of the Week recipient. The program recognizes outstanding high school coaches that have a positive influence in the communities and schools which they serve. In addition to receiving this award, a $1,000 donation from the Panthers and the National Football League will be made to the school's athletic department.

Restore the Roar. Coach Flowers joined West Charlotte in 2007 after coaching at Olympic High School for six seasons. He quickly took in the school's new slogan and has had one goal in mind: maintain the momentum gained by the team as last season's 4A state runner-up and continue their march back to prominence. "[Former head coach] Gilchrest left a real good group of kids," says Flowers. "We have just as much talent [as other top programs], we just don't get as much attention."

Flowers has West Charlotte off to a hot start at 8-1, with its only loss coming to Independence. The Lions' biggest win was against highly-regarded Butler High School. The win was even more impressive due to the inclement weather. Lightning forced part of the game to be played on the following Monday, and the Lions proved that they did not just beat Butler on a bad day. "It felt like a doubleheader," says Flowers.

Off the field, Flowers is the Dean of Students for West Charlotte. He has had a positive influence on the entire student body, not just his athletes. "[Flowers] interacts with a lot of kids," says athletic director Masanori Toguchi, Jr. "He makes sure that kids set goals and look toward their future."

As for his players, Flowers stresses that there is life after football, even if they go on to have an NFL career. This guidance that he offers has, in turn, provided instant results on the field. Flowers notes, "Players give you more when they know you care."

Flowers is a local product who has established his roots in the community he grew up in. He starred at quarterback at East Mecklenburg High School and Johnson C. Smith University has helped rebuild the school's fan base by getting the community involved with the team. Each week the team has Alumni Wednesday, where West Charlotte alumni come to the school to talk to the players about anything from football to making wise choices. He also helps build interest and excitement in the team by hosting Meet the Community, in which the team visits with West Charlotte fans.

The secret is out: the West Charlotte Lions are back. The Carolina Panthers wish Maurice Flowers and West Charlotte High School continued success.

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