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|Ferriday needs stability|
Next month, Ferriday High seniors will receive their equipment and instructions from a different head coach — AGAIN!
That is just not fair, not right and not acceptable.
Sure, no one counts on a coach staying one year and heading on. But in most cases, the coaches cannot be blamed. Two of the past three took head coaching jobs back home while the other one really did not want to leave but could not jeehaw with the administration.
But we're not here to talk about the past, we're looking ahead with hopes the new coach stepping onto Melz Field will be doing so for many years to come.
And that's a tough chore. First of all, you are going to have assistant coaches who will be among the lowest paid in the state.
Second of all, you are taking a job with a lot of pressure and high expectations. But good coaches don't mind that.
The position begs for someone with local ties with assistant coaches who bleed black and gold.
Check around you — Vidalia High, Block High, Natchez High, Adams County Christian School have head coaches who went to those schools.
That's not saying anything is wrong with having a coach from elsewhere, but in Ferriday's case it seems to be the only way to go.
Certainly Jerry Baldwin, Cordell Bailey and James McFarland found a home in Ferriday and will always be considered Trojans.
But after four coaches in four years, it's past time for some stability.
Certainly current assistant coach and former Trojan Cleothis (C.C.) Cummings deserves a chance to plead his cause. Cummings, who just recently became certified, was almost always the first one on the practice field with the players.
There are at least two former Trojans coaching elsewhere - Stanley Smith and James Leonard,
I can personally tell you they would love to come back to coach the Junkyard Dogs. But it has to be worth their while.
Richard Oliver, who did an outstanding job in his one season last year, is headed back to Baton Rouge where he will be head coach at Baker High School, replacing former Natchez High football coach Robert Raines, who took the top football job at Amite County High in Liberty, Ms.
Oliver will return to the Miss-Lou on September 28 at Baker visits Vidalia High.
Oliver had trouble keeping assistant coaches, even during the season.
"Compared to other parishes, the pay scale is real low," Oliver said. "Coaches have to work an extra month or two to make what they are making elsewhere and coaching is a year-round job. Teachers in Baton Rouge make more than coaches in Concordia. They do not need to get someone from the outside, they are not going to stay. They need to get an in-house person that will stay for a while."
Ferriday High will have a very talented football team this season. They will also have several young players who will keep the tradition going. But they need to know the football coach leading them this year will not be heading out the back door before next season starts.
That's quite a challenge for anyone handed the task of bringing in the next coach. The good news hear is that James "Blue" Davis is that man.
Davis is the assistant principal at Ferriday and is in charge of recommending a new coach.
Davis bleeds black and gold. As a past assistant coach, Davis knows what the players have been going through.
"Blue" will make the best choice for Ferriday High. But that's only the beginning. More money needs to be paid to assistant coaches in the parish.
The job of an assistant coach has become more and more important.
Fans need to get behind the new coach. You only have to look back a few years to when James McFarland did an outstanding job at Ferriday, but some went to the school board asking him to be dismissed.
McFarland is now coaching a middle school in West Monroe that is a feeder for West Monroe High. As a matter of fact, 95 percent of the African Americans on the Rebel varsity football team were coached by McFarland. McFarland left Ferriday after the 2006 season, a season which saw the Trojans go 9-2.
The list to become the head coach of the 2012 Ferriday High football Trojans will likely not be long, considering we are just days away from July.
That list will include at least two names of candidates who will be committed to staying at Ferriday a long time.
Now it will be up to supporters of the program to encourage them to keep that commitment.
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