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Rebels’ Jackson gets statewide honor from Titans

Rebels’ Jackson gets statewide honor from Titans
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
The whole state has taken notice of what Shawn Jackson has done at Obion County Central.
Jackson, who took over a winless program following the 2007 season and has led the Rebels to the best start to a season in school history this year, has been named the Tennessee Titans High School Football Coach of the Week.
Through the Titans Foundation, team Owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. will make a $1,000 contribution to the OCCHS football program in Jackson’s honor.
The Rebel skipper will also be the team’s guest at the Titans vs. New Orleans Saints game on Dec. 11th when the Titans honor all 2011 Coach of the Week winners.  On that date, the Titans will also announce the winner of the 2011 Coach of the Year, who will earn a $2,000 grant for his football program.
The OC coach, whose team currently sports an unbeaten 7-0 mark and No. 4 state ranking in Class 4A  was humbled by the honor.
“Are you serious?” he asked when told of the news by The Messenger, which nominated him for the award. “I really don’t know what so say. I’m stunned. I’m sure there are a lot more people out there who’ve done a better job than I have or who deserve it more.
“It’s amazing what a smarter coach you are when you have good players. Still, it’s something I never dreamed I’d get.”
Jackson, who went 0-10 in his first season at Troy, has since gone 6-5 and 5-6 before this year when OC made history with Friday’s 40-14 victory that essentially assured the team a playoff berth.
Central also has already locked up a winning season, just the 11th in the largely-undistiguished history of the program that has just one playoff win in its past.
Jackson’s 25 coaching victories at OCCHS already rank him fourth on that list behind only Larry Shanks (28) and both the late Charles Akers and Jim McPeake, both of whom won 32 games for the Rebels.
Jackson, currently 25-24 during his Obion Central tenure, joins Chris Hill (13-9 in two seasons) as the only coaches among 14 to have records above .500 at the school.
“Coach Jackson is a motivator and will give a student every opportunity to be successful,” said Obion County Central principal Linda Crigger. “Coach Jackson is receiving more interest and our program has grown because of his personal interest and what he offers to Obion County Central. He and his staff have done a tremendous job in making this football program more successful than it has been in years.”
Now in its 12th season, Adams has awarded more than $142,000 from the Titans Foundation to football programs across the state in honor of the Coach of the Week winners.
“High school football enjoys a great tradition in Tennessee,” he said. “That tradition is based not only on the outstanding quality of play but on the devotion of their coaches who continue to develop high school football players into young men of strong character. I’m very pleased to underwrite this program that recognizes the efforts of so many talented high school coaches across the state.”
The criteria for selection includes the coach’s impact on his team, school and community.
A statewide media panel votes each week to determine the weekly winner.
All high school football coaches in Tennessee, regardless of their school’s size, league or division, are eligible to be selected each week.
The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who transform, through their hard work and dedication, student-athletes into the best possible football players and citizens in their community.
The honor means that every current coach in each of the county’s three high schools has been so recognized as Union City’s Darren Bowling won the award in 2005 when he was then the head coach at Obion Central for a victory over UC.
South Fulton’s Kelly Spivey won in his first season there in 2008 when the Red Devils got off to a 6-0 start. 
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 10.4.11

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