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Prep sidelines undergo changes

Prep sidelines undergo changes

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
You can’t tell the players without a program.
Same, too, will be true with prep head football coaches this fall.
David Barger’s surprising resignation from his Lake County High School post last week brought the number of new head football coaches across the state to a whopping 66 for the 2013 season.
That means almost 20 percent — one in five — schools across Tennessee will have a different man in charge of their program than was in place last season.
There are more than 330 teams spread among six Division I and two Division II football programs in the Volunteer prep ranks.
The startling turnover appears to be nothing more than simply a sign of the times — a byproduct of a shrinking coaching pool and the decisions of some coaches looking for greener pastures.
All classifications have been affected by the moves and successful programs have seen just as much change as those looking to rebuild from tough times.
A number of area programs are also looking for assistant coaches, including Bolivar, which has lost three aides since school was dismissed in late May.
There will be no less than nine new coaches roaming the rural West Tennessee sidelines this fall.
Locally, both Obion Central (Kevin Goltra) and South Fulton (Eric Knott) have new skippers — though both do have previous head coaching experience.
District 14A will have four new head coaches in all among its eight teams with Junior Reid (Humboldt) and Ricky Woods (Humboldt) joining Knott and an a yet-to-be-announced replacement for Barger at Lake County.
Reportedly, school administration is looking to promote from within to fill Barger’s post.
Obion County native Jeff Robertson will begin a second tour of duty at Riverside after serving in an administration role the past few seasons.
Jason Driggers, who spent one year at Obion County Central and most recently was the defensive coordinator at Humboldt for three years, has taken the Jackson South Side position.
Orenthius Taylor has taken over the reins at Jackson Central-Merry, and Michael Stroup is the new man in charge at Scotts Hill.
Ernie Jackson, who along with Stroup, Reid and Taylor have never been head coaches on the high school level, was recently elevated from the middle school ranks to the lead position at Haywood High School.
The Tomcat position was another June opening when Slade Calhoun resigned after just two seasons at the helm of the once-feared program.

Published in The Messenger 6.19.13

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