By Will Brown • Democrat Staff Writer • February 25, 2010
Change has once again befallen the Jefferson County football program. However, for the first time in years, that change has come from within to ensure continuity in a football program that rose to claim a district championship in 2009.
Head football coach Willie Spears resigned his position at Jefferson County Feb. 19 to take the same position at Live Oak Suwannee. Wednesday, in front of the entire football team former offensive coordinator Jeremy Brown was elevated to replace Spears. “It’s the most difficult professional decision I have had to make by far,” Spears said. “We’ve moved a lot. It was very, very difficult up until the last moment because it affected so many people.”
The Tigers were 6-6 last season after going 1-9 in 2008. Spears, the 2009 All-Big Bend coach of the year, spent one season coaching at the rural 1B school leading the Tigers to an appearance in the regional finals.
Brown was an assistant on a Venice team that went undefeated and ran through Palm Beach Dwyer 77-14 for a state championship in 2000. He was also an assistant at Sarasota Booker for two seasons, before moving to Monticello to coach with Spears in 2009.
“You never know what God’s plan is,” Brown said. “You think you have it figured out. You tell yourself ‘You want to be a head coach in the next couple years,’ Then, I get a call that Coach Spears has resigned.”
Photograph from Tallahassee Democrat
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Tonight on the COUNTDOWN – Area HS Football Coaching Changes & Exclusive Interview with Rickards Lady Hoops Coach Sharia Davis
Listen in tonight at 6:30 as we discuss the latest HS football coaching change with Jefferson County’s Willie Spears decision to head to Suwannee. Also we bring on Lady Raider Head Basketball coach Sharia Davis to discuss the teams success and their trip to the State Finals in Lakeland, FL.
The Jefferson County Tigers find themselves in search of a new head football coach and athletic director as head man Willie Spears will be taking over the program at Suwannee High School. Spears, the 4Quartersonline.com 2009 Head Coach of the Year, is noted for breathing life into a Jefferson County program that hadn’t made the playoffs since 2004 in just a single season. The Tigers won the Class 1B District 1 title and saw a record 5 seniors sign letters to play college football under his leadership as a coach and as a Teacher in the school.
2009 will be remembered as a year where many local-area teams had winning records and 9 of those teams reached postseason play. Spears’ Tigers were among that group. When asked about the move to Suwanee, Spears said that “Bill Brumfield and the Jefferson County community treated me like a king. I did not want to leave, however it was the best move for my family at this time.” Stay logged on to 4Quartersonline.com as we bring you more on this story.
OL Cody Gibson, Tallahassee Lincoln, 6-6 265 Sr
ATH Ryan White, Tallahassee Lincoln, 6-1, 185, Sr
LB Mark Wilson, Tallahassee Lincoln, 6-2 230 Sr
P Carlos Gaston, Tallahassee Lincoln, 6-1, 180, Jr
K Morgan Henry, Crawfordville Wakulla, 6-1, 165, Sr
LB Tony Harris, Tallahassee Lincoln, 5-11, 210, Sr
DB Dondreous Brown, Tallahassee Leon, 5-11 190 Jr
WR Chris St. Hilaire, Tallahassee Godby, 5-9, 165, Sr
QB Dennis Andrews, Tallhassee Godby, 6-0, 170, So
LB Fred Griggs, Tallahassee Rickards, 5-10, 195, Sr
LB Brandon Denmark, Tallahassee Rickards, 6-4, 215, Sr
DB Justin Hampton, Madison County, 5-9, 180, Sr
DL Jakari Thomas, Tallhassee Godby, 6-0, 200, So
DB T.J. Davis, Tallahassee Godby, 6-0, 175, So
WR Reggie King, Taylor County, 6-3, 188, Sr
P Chase Varnedore, Tallahassee Florida, 5-10, 160, Sr
LB Garrett Davis, Tallahassee Florida, 6-2, 215, Sr
ATH Daniel Jones, Tallahassee Florida, 5-11, 175, Sr
P Ty Crowley, Perry Taylor County, 6-2, 185, Sr
DB Antwain Mathews, East Gadsden, Sr
QB Clint Trickett, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, 6-1, 170, Sr
OL Drew Gentry, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, 6-6, 300, Sr
LB Josh Major, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, 6-1 235 Sr
WR Seth Roberts, 6-2, 170, Maclay, Sr
OL Ian Howard, Tallahassee FAMU, 6-2 280, Sr
DB David Crumity, Monticello Jefferson County, 5-9 165 Sr
RB Devondrick Nealy, Monticello Jefferson County, 5-10, 175, Jr
QB Lenorris Footman, Jefferson County,5-7 140 Fr
RB Jordan Stanley, Tallahassee FAMU, 5-10, 180, Sr
DL Derrick Holmes, Tallahassee FAMU, 6-0, 250 Sr
Amiee Schachs – The Tallahassee Democrat
North Florida Christian announced Thursday afternoon the hiring of former Eagles quarterback Robert Craft as Tim Cokely’s successor as head football coach.
Craft, who has been the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Ga. since 2005, was introduced to the football team and parents before a reception in the NFC band room. before a reception in the NFC band room.
His wife, Tallahassee native Sara Leeka, was also on hand. The couple has a 1-year-old daughter, Ella Grace.”It really does feel like we’re coming home,” Craft said. A quarterback for the Eagles in the mid-1990s, Craft was a three-time state champion and also played basketball. He served as a captain on both squads. By the time Craft graduated from Tennessee Tech University, he had set every major single-season and career passing record in the program’s history, including most touchdowns, most total yardage and most total offense.
Craft also finished his collegiate career as one of the top 10 all-time leading passers in the Ohio Valley Conference. In his last season with Colquitt County, his team went 11-3 before falling in the state semifinals to eventual Georgia 5A state champion Camden County.
Craft shared Thursday the three phases in which he hopes to help players develop: spiritually, academically and athletically. He also stressed the importance of hitting the weight room and that the recruiting process for upperclassmen would begin immediately.
Craft will officially take the reins on Monday.”We are ready to get to work,” Craft said. “We’re excited.”
4Q Exclusive: Rickards LB/RB Fred Griggs Signs Letter of Intent with St. Francis University (Joliet, IL)
The Rickards community added yet another reason to celebrate the success of their 2009 football season, as another senior committed to play football on the collegiate level. 4Q “BIG 11″ standout Fred Griggs signed a letter of intent with St. Francis University in Joliet, Illinois.
Surrounded by a host of classmates and teachers, Griggs spoke highly of his teammates, coaches and his family as he cited his reason for choosing St. Francis University. Griggs’ mother was all smiles as Fred wrote his name on the intent letters. She later stated that “Fred is very motivated. He works hard and he studies hard. He’s my son and he’s a good kid”.
PLAYER NAME POSITION SCHOOL COLLEGE Fred Griggs LB / RB Rickards St. Francis University
With his commitment to the University of St.Francis, Fred Griggs will join 3 other Rickards’ college commits, Brandon Denmark, Terry Johnson and Cameron Hudson. Head football coach Rudy Hubbard described Griggs as a leader and expressed his excitement about next years squad, saying that “everyone else had better watch out for us next season… it’s on!”.
A special guest joins us from the basketball ranks. FAMU High Baby Lady Rattler head coach Ally will be on tonights show. Listen in as we talk about Super Bowl XLIV and National Signing Day
|Antwan Matthews||DB / WR||East Gadsden||Jacksonville University|
|Bryan Robinson||DL||East Gadsden||Florida International|
|David Crumity||DB||Jefferson County||South Alabama|
|Marquise Dobson||WR / CB||Jefferson County||Georgia Military|
|Breyon Crumity||FB / OL||Jefferson County||Concordia College|
|Tavaris Thompson||DT||Jefferson County||Edward Waters|
|Jacarri Ross||OL /DL||Jefferson County||Edward Waters|
|Clint Trickett||QB||N. Florida Christian||Florida State|
|Drew Gentry||OL||N. Florida Christian||East Carolina|
|Mack Helms||DL / OL||Leon||East Carolina|
|John Holt||OL||Leon||Texas Southern|
|Cody Gibson||OL||Lincoln||South Carolina|
|Tony Moore||RB||Lincoln||Florida International|
|Jauan Davis||WR||Florida High||Samford|
|Josh Thomas||DB||Florida High||Florida State (P. Walk-On)|
|Tony Verduzco||NG||Florida High||Conord College|
|Devyn Hardy||DB||Florida High||South Florida (P. Walk-On)|
|Daniel Jones||DB||Florida High||Northwestern|
|Brandon Denmark||DE / WR||Rickards||Illinois|
|Terry Johnson||DB / QB||Rickards||Florida A&M|
|Jerico Lee||DL||Godby||Florida International|
|Mike Etheridge||TE/LB||Godby||Florida A&M|
|Mycheal Pool||WR||Chiles||Western Iowa CC|
Congratulations to Jefferson County head coach Willie Spears and Jefferson County RB/DB Devondrick Nealey on being named the 4Quartersonline.com Coach and Player of the year! And what a year it was! Now that the National Signing Day is finally here, 4Quartersonline.com will have the complete breakdown of all of the areas signees. Tune in to WTAL 1450 AM tonight at 6:30 or click the link below and listen in! Also be sure to catch us via video on UStream.
4Quartersonline.com 2009 Coach and Player of the Year:
Coach Of The Year – Willie Spears Jefferson County
Player Of The Year – DeVondric Nealy Jefferson County
4Quartersonline.com BIG 11
(in no ranking order)
Jabari Bishop – DE Taylor County
David Crumitie – WR/DB Jefferson County
Brandon Graham – WR Leon High
Cody Gibson – OL Lincoln
Fred Griggs – LB Rickards High
Jerrico Lee DL – Godby High
Montez Fryson – RB/LB East Gadsden
Mark Wilson – LB Lincoln
Ryan White – QB Lincoln
Jordan Stanley – RB FAMU High
Clint Trickett – QB NFC
North Florida Christian has announced the resignation of head football coach Tim Cokley.
Cokley had previously been at the helm of Eagle football for a total of 12 seasons with a brief stint in Waycross, GA. During his tenure the Eagles have won 6 state titles, including 4 consecutive from 1998 through 2001. Several notable student-athletes have come through the NFC program while Cokley was in-charge: University of Georgia standout tail-back Tony Milton, Detroit Lions captain and former Florida State line-backer Ernie Simms, and more recently, highly recruited Florida State commit, Clint Trickett.
In a statement to the NFC community, Cokley explained that he would be taking over the program at the Greater Atlanta Christian School in Atlanta, GA. His final duties as Eagle head coach will be to participate in this years Signing Day and to attend the teams annual football banquet.
4Quartersonline.com will post more updates on this story as it develops.