Jackson has clear vision

Published 8:58 pm Thursday, May 21, 2009

What will it take for Thorsby to become a winning football team again? Confident players who are proud of their school and program.

And interim coach Billy Jackson knows what it will take for the Rebels to make the transformation. Confidence will stem from the hard work the players put in during the offseason, and pride will be the result of excellence in all athletic programs and a coaching staff that cares about its players and their futures.

“We want everybody that’s involved with the football or the volleyball team or whatever, we want them to be proud they go to Thorsby,” Jackson said. “We’re all in this together.”

Jackson, who has spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach, replaces Daryl Davis.

Jackson said Davis was helpful with the transition.

“He could have said, ‘I’m done with coaching, so now I’m not going to do anything,’ but he didn’t do that,” Jackson said.

Instead, Davis held the Rebels to their usual responsibilities until Jackson took over.

The Rebels concluded their spring practice with an intra-squad scrimmage on May 18.

One of Jackson’s first priorities is establishing a strong offseason workout regimen, which will be organized full-time by Keith Williams.

“That’s going to be huge,” Jackson said. “In the past, we’ve split it up as coaches.

“The weight room is going to be the key for every sport we have. If you’re not working out, you’re behind everybody else.”

Jackson will also be assisted by Corey Clements, Josh Deavers, Ab Argent and Ken Copen.

Before coming to Thorsby, Jackson, a 1990 Chilton County graduate, spent two years at Dallas County High and six years at Verbena.

Jackson said his players, coming off an 0-10 season, are in desperate need of confidence. So, the coach plans to employ goal-oriented devices to help the Rebels realize when they’re on the right track.

For example, players that attend a certain number of summer workouts will start the fall with stickers on their helmets. And, once the season begins, defensive players that grade at 90 percent or above in a game will be rewarded with a black jersey to wear in practice.

Most of all, Jackson wants his players to leave the program better prepared for the rest of their lives.

Jackson and his staff met with the team seniors to talk about what the seniors planned to do after high school and how the staff might help them in those endeavors.

“We want them to know that the staff cared about them and helped them do what they wanted to do,” Jackson said.