By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
One Feather Asst. Editor
CHEROKEE, N.C. – Chase Sneed, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has been selected as the new athletic director at Cherokee Central Schools.
“I was super-excited when they told me,” Sneed said. “I think I can do great things and brings some new things in.”
Sneed graduated from Swain County High School in 2008 and attended the Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach, S.C. where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Golf Course Operation and Grounds Management in 2010. He then attended Western Carolina University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies in 2015. Sneed earned a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from Ohio University in 2021.
Sneed started at Cherokee Central Schools as an ISS teacher at Cherokee Elementary School in January 2017, and he has worked as an administrative assistant in the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center since September 2018. He has served for several years as the head coach of the JV Braves football team and as an assistant coach for the varsity football team.
He wants to hit the ground running. “Future-wise, we’re looking at updating baseball and softball fields and bringing some batting cages in, getting some new scoreboards in multiple places such as the football field, soccer field, and baseball/softball fields. We have some great athletes, so let’s give them the tools to succeed.”
Sneed said he is happy to see the number of student-athletes coming out for various sports at Cherokee Central Schools now. “Interest is growing in sports, all over the country but especially here. We have some kids that have never really played sports that are interested in playing, and it’s great.”
Grades are the priority he said. “The student part comes first. So, keep your grades up. When a student-athlete succeeds in the classroom, they will ultimately succeed on the field or on the court.”
“I want to hold everyone accountable – not only our student-athletes but our coaches, our fans, our administration. I want to be as transparent as possible.”
“Overall, I want to see our student-athletes be successful in the classroom and on and off the field. We’re not just teaching them how to play football or how to play basketball or baseball or softball or soccer. We’re teaching them how to be young men and young women in the community. When they go outside of the school and off the Boundary, they have to know how to act and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
He added, “We’re going to give them every opportunity to excel. We’ll excel in the classroom first, and we’ll excel on the fields and courts later.”
Earlier this year, Que Tucker, NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Asociation) commissioner, penned a commentary where she addressed “bad behavior” towards officials at high school sporting events.
The One Feather asked Sneed how he would approach this issue as the athletic director.
“Attending a game, and even playing sports, is a privilege,” he noted. “It’s a privilege to be there. Everybody is competitive. I was a coach for five years – I know. We all get riled up when a call doesn’t go our way. But, as much as we want to yell and scream, we can’t really do that. We have to be respectful.”
Sneed said he appreciates the community’s support of Cherokee athletics. “Our community is great. They’re always there to help. They’re always there to support…we have a great community that feeds us every game, takes care of us every game. I want to continue that and even grow that relationship even more. Go Braves!”