June 7, 2013
By Reid Althage
LAFM: What is your connection with North DeSoto High School and the football team?
Both my kids go to school at North DeSoto. I have one son who is a sophomore at the high school, and my other son is in second grade at the elementary school. The sophomore will play Nose guard for the football team this year.
LAFM: Where did you go to high school and College?
I went to South Wood High School, and I went to Northwestern State in Nacotish for college.
LAFM: Did you play any sports in high school or college?
I played many sports recreationally, and I was a middle linebacker at South Wood High.
LAFM: What are you looking forward to with this year’s football team?
I am looking forward to seeing our growth. We have a lot of young players coming in which should help older players. I always look forward to seeing the progress in the offseason. It amazes me how hardworking our kids are over in the spring and in the summer. Most of the kids are playing multi sports and grinding through. Still, they always show up at 6:30 in the morning for practice. Also, many of the kids I have coached through the youth association. I enjoy seeing them grow from young boys to young men.
LAFM: At what level have you coached them?
I am the President of North Desoto Youth Athletics (NDYA). Many of the kids have come through our youth program before going to North Desoto High School.
LAFM: Who are some players to watch out for?
Kyler Radford is the first that comes to mind. He is going to be our new starting QB and will be a sophomore this year. He throws the ball extremely well and is very quick. I coached him in the youth program. He is not the biggest kid, but he is very athletic and hard working.
Damien Boone is another kid to look out for. He is a great athlete and brings leadership to the team along with some of the older kids. The older guys are definitely a special group and great leaders.
LAFM: I understand you guys have renovated Griffin Field. What do you think of it?
Yes, the renovations have been great. In the last couple years, we have added home side bleachers, a new turf field, as well as a new weight room and locker room. Right now a new stadium front is being built and will hopefully be finished before the start of the season. The turf is phenomenal. It is just so much easier to take care of and gives us more time to work on other things. It also helps us out at the youth program. We use to have to cancel our games when it rained. With Turf, we can play 15 minutes after.
LAFM: Coach Abernathy seems to be a great guy, what can you say about him?
Coach Abernathy has taken our program to the next level. He is an absolute great coach and great guy. The whole community is behind him. He not only develops our kids into great athletes but into great young men.
LAFM: The youth program seems to have a good relationship with the School and football team?
Most definitely. It is a special relationship between us and them. Coach Abernathy has graciously opened up the field to us so we can play on Saturdays. Just about all the coaches from NDHS are part of our sixty-five different members who help coach in our leagues and clinics. We have 250 kids in the NDYA and it definitely helps to have their support.
LAFM: What does the football program bring to the school?
The two words that come to mind are pride and unity. “Pride” because the kids develop a high level of character and integrity. The team itself demands the kids to have a level of great character and great integrity. As a parent, I really appreciate the coaches and school teaching those characteristics. Football brings “Unity” to the school and the community. Everybody buys into the excitement and gets behind the team. Last year we started a pregame tailgate party. It was just an idea at first. We got support from our principle Mr. Weaver and started doing it before every home game. Immediately, everybody in the community was trying to volunteer and help out in some way. The kids see the support the community has and the unity builds into the team and school. The boys definitely play harder when they see fans supporting them and the stands full.
LAFM: As a whole, what makes North DeSoto High School special?
I love the people and the community. Everyone on the staff gives our kids everything they can give them. Mr. Weaver is the principle and he’s just a great guy who puts everything he has into the school. Our superintendent, Dr. Brumly, is another just great person who is completely supportive. The rest of the staff is just amazing. They know exactly what we expect out of the education they give our children. Our children’s education is at the fore front of our community’s priority. The school could not do a better job at giving our kids what they need and preparing them for the outside world.
LAFM: Who was your most influential figure in the sports world?
My dad was probably my most influential figure. I grew up with four brothers and we all played sports. My dad would work all day, come home, coach and play with us. He was always there for us.
LAFM: Favorite Football Player and Coach?
Well I am a huge Saints fan. My favorite player is Drew Brees. He is a standout leader which every team needs. The same goes for my favorite coach Sean Payton.