Boys football team thrives under new coaches and overcomes challenges
Cameron Sanders ’17
Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
Last year, the football team wasn’t very successful with an unimpressive record of 2-7. But with a new coach and a new outlook on the game, the team has gone undefeated so far in the season with a 7-0 record.
Through a new coaching philosophy, the football team has implemented many changes that allowed the team to grow and become more successful than they had been in previous years.
Former Martin Luther King High School Coach Vernard Snowden was brought on by the athletic department and a group of representative players to help build the team and to improve their record.
When Snowden came to South Lake, the first thing he did was stress academics to his players, in addition to having dedication to the game.
“Education is very important, without education there is no athletics. I believe you’re a student before you’re an athlete,” says Snowden.
Sophomore Jamichael Johnson believes that Snowden brings the best out of the team, saying “He is a fantastic coach. He came and showed the effort to improve the team. He has a soul to help everyone to strive for greatness athletically and academically.”
One of the main problems the team had last year was keeping focused in school. Multiple players were put on the ineligibility list because of slipping grades.
Junior Daijon Desaussure agrees. “Being able to be mature enough and to do the right things in school has always been one of our biggest challenges,” Desaussure says.
To help players stay on task Snowden initiated study tables to make sure his team excels in their academics and are focussed on school. In these study tables players are able to help each other with school work and prepare them for their classes.
Snowden also believes being a part of the player lives. “To help them on and the off the field I want to be in their lives personally. And having a relationship with the kids helps me do that,” says Snowden.
Another one of the changes made was how much work the team put forth on the off-season. Almost immediately after being hired Snowden started pre-season weight training as well as teaching the team a new offensive and defensive play style.
Desaussure believes that the changes made to the off-season increased the team’s effort and gave them confidence. “He is very smart and always has a game plan. He really tries to push us to do our absolute best,” says Desaussure.
The changes Snowden has made seem to have been working as the team has been doing well on and off the field. “As a team we all are closer and have better attitudes. We’re doing alright but we still have to get better every week,” says Johnson.