It must have been an oversight, or so I thought.
While attending the Evans High School athletic open house Aug. 7, I studied the list of the school's football coaching staff, and one name was missing.
Later that week, it became clear the name wasn't omitted by accident.
There he was, observing the Knights' football practice from a distance, not on the field doing his job as offensive coordinator for Evans.
Make that his former job.
"I didn't say or do anything I'm ashamed of," Dave Machovec said, but that was about the only comment he could offer.
"I've been told not to talk to anyone about my situation," he added.
Machovec's situation is deplorable. Not only has his freedom of speech been stifled by the powers that be, the Knights have been deprived of his services as an assistant coach.
Before getting into specifics, here's an explanation of why I am addressing this issue almost two months after the fact.
My head said, "Ignore it, and maybe things will work out. Speak up and blow any chance Machovec has of returning to the sideline."
Now, my heart says, "Shout it from the rooftops - a good man has been wronged!"
See if you can follow this timeline:
In July, weight equipment at Evans High School made its way to Aquinas High School in Augusta.
Read closely, because this gets tricky: The current athletic director at Evans is married to the current head football coach at Aquinas, who is an ex-football coach and athletic director at Evans, and the new head football coach at Evans previously coached the Aquinas football team.
It all sounds like a sweetheart deal, a gridiron quid pro quo, but it was a no-no to transfer Columbia County school equipment to a prep program in another county.
When weight-gate was reported in the press, Columbia County School Superintendent Tommy Price slapped the wrists of Evans principal Don Brigdon and Evans athletic director Gail Connor.
During the investigation, "witnesses" were called to the school board office to clear the air, and Machovec was among them.
When his interrogation concluded, Machovec was asked if there were any more issues regarding the Evans athletic program that needed to be addressed.
Machovec detailed his concerns in writing.
So much for doing what you're asked. The next thing he knew, Machovec was called into the principal's office, where Brigdon figuratively strung him up.
Here's an educated guess about this modern-day lynching: Brigdon was still steaming about his reprimand in the weight-gate incident, and when Machovec made some critical observations in writing, Brigdon went berserk and canned the coach.
It seems strange that Brigdon would give so much credence to Machovec's correspondence to the county bigwigs, after having ignored letters of support for former Evans football coach Lee Chomskis.
Those two letters came from football coaches in Region 7-AAAAA. They praised Chomskis, and claimed the Knights were the best-prepared team they faced in 2002.
Of course, that's another story. The bottom line is that Brigdon sent Chomskis packing last January.
Machovec applied for the head-coaching slot, but was passed over in favor of Marty Jackson.
Jackson thought enough of Machovec to make him the Knights' offensive coordinator. Machovec, a certified strength coach, also was instrumental in guiding the weight-training program at Evans.
"He has a good knowledge of the game," Jackson said of Machovec. "Things aren't always fair. I'm sure he'll land on his feet."
For now, Machovec is on shaky ground, and he's basically in exile. His duties include six periods of in-school suspension. He's watching the bad kids in ISS, but it appears that he's the one being punished.
One gutless incident is too much for me to stomach, and that took place after Machovec got the heave-ho.
Since someone had to explain why Machovec was gone, Brigdon addressed the Evans football players before a practice in early August.
Brigdon told the Knights that Machovec was "unsupportive" of the school's athletic program, and had to be dismissed.
Imagine what sophomore football player Israel Machovec thought when he heard someone describe his father in that manner.
Well, you don't have to imagine what I'm thinking about this sorry turn of events.
Dave Machovec wasn't at every weight-lifting session last summer. He missed a few because he took 11 football players to a camp at Furman University.
Also, Machovec was the force behind track-and-field athlete Taylar Stallings. Without Machovec's guidance, Stallings probably would not have won a state title in discus last spring, and the former Lady Knight might not have secured a scholarship with the University of South Florida.
If you want an example of nonsupport, let's look at what Brigdon has done for the Evans football team.
The principal got rid of a head coach (Chomskis) because of a personality conflict. He hired a replacement (Jackson) who was an old acquaintance. He dumped an offensive coordinator (Machovec) who was acting in the best interest of the program.
Jackson is caught in the middle of this mess. He seems to know his football, and is a nice guy, but he's got some obstacles to overcome before he can work any miracles with the Knights.
Here's a final thought: You reap what you sow, and the current bad harvest at Evans High School is proof.
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