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|Harkins just wants to win|
Chad Harkins will become the first white coach at Ferriday High since Steve Ford in 1978.
I know, I know, why make a racial thing out of this?
Hey, who is not thinking it?
But the fact is, it shouldn't be a racial thing.
And I don't believe it is.
Fact is, I think the only dissent came from folks wanting someone else as head coach.
I certainly hope Harkins does not receive any kind of resistance at all as Ferriday coach.
The bottom line is, Harkins likes winning. I haven't met anyone yet at Ferriday who has a problem with that.
And, believe me, I know a number of African-American coaches who have been the object of scorn from Ferriday fans standing along the fence and in the bleachers the past few years.
Freddie Harrison finally got tired of the comments from the fence last year and during the Farmerville game yelled back at one of the vocal fans.
Just for a quick history lesson, Jerry Bamburg was the first coach at Ferriday High in 1970 after segregation.
Bobby Marks was the head coach in 1969, but took over at the new school at Huntington the following year.
Things were so hectic in 1970, that Ferriday did not come up with the nickname Trojans until AFTER playing its first game against West Monroe.
That must have been interesting — "Let's go ........ Wait a minute, who are we?"
The first four Ferriday coaches lasted one year.
Bamburg was followed by Clarence Richard in 1971. James Murphy took over in 1972, while Bob Ashley was at the helm in 1973.
Fred Marsalis was the first African-American coach at Ferriday High. He coached from 1974-77 before Ford took over for one year.
Jerry Baldwin was named head coach in 1979 before leaving to take an assistant coaching job at Louisiana Tech.
Anyway, back to Harkins.
Let's face it, he may be going into a tough situation having to replace Harrison.
And I know that some folks are concerned about the double wing offense he ran at Block High (the same one he ran in 2003 when Block ran for 350 yards in beating Ferriday 47-0).
But, believe me, Harkins will use all his weapons at Ferriday High. He tried his best to throw the ball at Huntington even when his running game was much better than the passing game.
I have watched Harkins at Block and Huntington and he doesn't see race, he doesn't see culture, he doesn't see politics.
Ferriday has a chance to do some big things this upcoming season with a load of experience back from a team that battled for a district title in one of the toughest districts in the state.
If the players believe in their coach and if the fans support their new coach, big things can happen this year.
I was glad to see the issue settled last week so Harkins can now get in there and start showing that he is there for the students and athletes at Ferriday High.
I think the players will be impressed with what they are getting and will soon see that Harkins has their best interests at heart.
I know the coaching staff well and I know they are some of the most competitive guys around.
There will be good days and bad days at Ferriday High just like there are at the thousands of high schools around the nation getting ready for another football season.
The good days will help everyone see Harkins is the right man for the job.
The bad days will test the players, coaches and fans and have the possibility of creating a diversion that could sink the season.
How everyone handles the bad days will say a lot about how many good days are ahead.
Give Chad Harkins a chance Junkyard Dog Nation. I think you will be pleased with the results.
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