RHEA COUNTY (WRCB) - The controversy over public prayer at Hamilton County high school football games has spilled over into Rhea County.
The Soddy Daisy High football team played at Rhea County High school Friday night where they expected to hear a publicly led prayer. However, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes asked for a prayer gathering on the field instead of one that would be led over the loudspeaker.
The members say they didn't want to put their Superintendent in an awkward spot legally. Jenny Yearwood of Rhea County led the prayer in the middle of the field as dozens came to join the circle. You can watch the video inside this story.
Yearwood told Channel 3 Eyewitness News, "Tell Soddy I'm sorry it gotten taken away from them and we're gonna do everything we can to make sure it's not taken away from us, and they're always welcome here."
Hamilton County School Superintendent Dr. Jim Scales ordered on Wednesday the district to stop praying over the loud-speaker, after a national group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, told him a Soddy-Daisy student had complained. Scales said he did not want to ban the prayer but once a formal complaint had been filed he needed to protect the school system from a potential lawsuit.
A number of Soddy Daisy students are vowing to fight for what they see as their right to a 'led' prayer before their ball games.