This Is Carolina: Grand Strand coach empowers kids on and off field
“To be able to reach as many people as possible, that would be a dream come true.”
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - A lot of kids enjoy playing sports. They learn about discipline, teamwork and setting goals. But one group of kids is getting more than that, thanks to their coach, 27-year-old Clinton Patton, who’s also called, “Coach Trey” or “Coach Headphones,” because he never takes them off.
“I always have these on,” quips Coach Trey. “Music is probably the only thing more than athletics that has impacted my life, has been music.”
You may have seen him teaching the brass section for St. James High School Marching Band, but when he’s not there, he’s trading the hardwood floors to be top of the key at CC1st Spin.
Coach Trey created the partial nonprofit organization where kids learn, play and compete in different sports.
“For a good bit of these kids, it’s an outlet. It’s a way for them to be doing something that would keep them out of trouble,” he said.
Coach Trey started the program five years ago with the help of his father who first created the organization in Atlanta, Georgia.
“I feel honored to be his first student because he’s a really good coach and he’s going to help a lot of people in the future too,” said Max Carpenter.
Ocean Bay Middle School eighth grader, Max Carpenter, said not only has Coach Trey helped him hone his basketball skills, but he’s also helped him get prepared before the game.
“The mental game. He really helped me with that because I used to be very nervous at games, but he helped me overcome that,” said Carpenter. “He’s definitely a friend and a coach at the same time.”
When you sign up for Coach Trey’s organization, which stands for children come first, you’re not just learning how to strive in sports.
“He helped me with my emotions. If I’m feeling down that day we’ll work on something or he’ll help me talk about something that will make me feel better,” said Camden Sewell.
Camden Sewell said Coach Trey teaches her how to work hard, stay positive and overcome obstacles.
“I love football and I’ve always wanted to do it for such a long time, and I just thought it would be fun to do it forever,” she said.
Sewell wanted to play football for Ocean Bay Middle School last year but got diagnosed with type one diabetes. The seventh grader said Coach Trey is making sure she’ll be strong enough to try out for next year and to achieve her dream of becoming the first female NFL football player, all while giving life lessons along the way.
“Even if you have something wrong with you it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything you love,” said Sewell.
Erica Hunton is Camden’s mother and said Coach Trey is helping her emotionally, and mentally and building her confidence.
“I think Trey has a lot of passion for what he does and it shows. He goes above and beyond for the kids and he makes a big difference in their lives. He truly does,” said Hunton.
Coach Trey said hearing what the parents and their kids think about him came to him as a surprise.
“I didn’t know all that. Honestly, a lot of these kids don’t realize that they saved me. Like a lot of these kids,” he said.
Coach Trey said his goal is to make CC1st Spin a full nonprofit through sponsorships, so he can continue his passion for helping kids reach their goals.
“All we care about is getting work done, bettering ourselves and coming together in like a fellowship as a group,” he said. “To be able to reach as many people as possible, that would be a dream come true.”
Click here to learn more about CC1st Spin
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