The message hasn’t been about a winning season, not about making the playoffs. Childersburg High School Head Coach Jonathan Beverly had already set the bar much higher as he told the crowd gathered for TigerFest a few weeks ago, “This team will play at home in November. We will host a playoff game.”
On Tuesday (8/22) he explained to the Childersburg Kiwanis Club the keys behind that bold statement, “We finished last season strongly, coming from two scores down to win our last two games. And that includes setting an offensive record in scoring 82 points in our final game, 60 of that after halftime, down 14-points. But this is not about playing a game, or even winning a game. It’s about creating a whole new way of thinking for our program, for our school, for our community.”
That process started with the institution of a Leadership Council. That would be 20 student-athletes, equally representing each class, ”This is about living a leadership role at school, at home, in the community – everywhere – and keeping that alive year after year,” explained Beverly. His four Captains, who joined him with the Kiwanians, came directly from that Leadership Council.
“I’m a history teacher at heart, and I love learning from history,” said Beverly. “When explorer Hernando Cortez reached the western shores, he ordered that his men burn the boats that brought them to a new world. He wanted to make it clear that they were not going home to the old ways. We have burned the boat at Childersburg High. We are not going back to the way things used to be.”
And that, according to the strong-willed coach, was all about work. Hard work. Lots of hard work.
“I’ve been coaching for 11-years now, and I’m here to tell you that this was the best off-season ever,” explained Beverly. “These young men (pointing to Captains), and the team mates they lead did not just work hard, not just harder. I can promise you that in every aspect of the term team, no team worked harder than they did. Nobody.”
And from a numbers perspective, players are buying in – 61 players completed spring training and started fall practice. And from an attitude perspective, 28-year football referee Pete Storey said, “I worked the spring game and immediately noticed a distinct difference, not just how they played, but also how they carried themselves with confidence and assurance, a new way of thinking.”
CHS 2017 Football Schedule