Thursday, May 14, 2009
Potts Camp hires football coach
By BARRY BURLESON
Potts Camp High School has its first football coach – ever.
And he’s someone very familiar to the hometown folks.
Shane Stone, who has been a part of the Marshall County community since he was 8 years old, is taking the role as the builder of the football Cardinals. He has trained under one of the state’s most highly respected head coaches, Marshall County native Johnny Hill at Oxford.
Stone said football at Potts Camp has “been a long time coming.”
“It will be a challenge, but it will be exciting and adventurous with a lot of twists and turns,” he said. “You only live once, so I say let’s go get it done.
“I believe the community support will be there, and if we get everybody on the same page only positive things will come out of it.”
Stone attended Marshall Academy, graduating from MA in 1990.
“The main reason I went to Marshall is because I wanted to play football,” he said, “and Potts Camp did not have football.”
He went on to play two years at Northwest Community College and two years at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo. He then finished his degree in health, physical education and recreation at Delta State University.
Since, he has added certificates in special education and social studies, and he will complete his master’s in education leadership in December.
Stone actually started his teaching and coaching career in 1995 at Potts Camp. He went to Tupelo in 1999 to work for Coach Hill, who returned to Oxford in 2000 and Stone moved with him. He has also coached baseball and track and the past six years he has guided the Oxford Lady Chargers on the basketball court.
This year Stone has also served as assistant principal at Oxford, and he will also fill that role at Potts Camp.
“I’m pretty versatile and flexible, and if it’s a good opportunity, I do it,” he said. “I think it has worked out good. I’ve gotten a lot of good experience in a lot of different areas.”
Coach Hill has been his mentor and friend.
“In my opinion, I could not have worked under anybody better,” Stone said. “Everything I’ve learned, I learned from him. He’s a great person to look up to and go to for advice.
“And he’s already told me, he’s still there to help if I need him. I will have a great resource in Coach Hill.”
Stone said taking the job at Potts Camp, near his home, is also the best decision for his family. He and his wife Amanda have two children, Jake, 10, and Cade, 8. The boys, who have attended Oxford, will be enrolling in school at Potts Camp.
“My boys are to the point where they’re getting involved in different activities,” he said. “Highway 7 from Potts Camp to Oxford is a good trek if you’re making it twice a day. The boys have a lot of friends at our church (Potts Camp First Baptist), and they’re excited.
“It’s a good move for me and my family – getting back home and being part of something special at Potts Camp.”
A new sports complex is under construction at Potts Camp. The program will start this fall at the junior high level.
“We will play only a handful of games this first year – not a regular junior high schedule – but we do want to reward them a little,” Stone said. “Hopefully, we can play a couple of junior varsity games as well.”
Next year’s seventh-10th graders can participate. The varsity schedule will start in the fall of 2011.
“There’s a whole lot of work to be done,” he said, “and I want the community to realize this will be a slow process. Be patient, and let’s work through it together.
“I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Marshall County School District. Get behind us and let’s build this football program to where it can be.”
Stone will officially step into his new job July 1.
“But I will be there long before then – getting things ready to go,” he said. “I’m just really excited about getting this off the ground.”
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