Marshall L. Hamilton Stadium was pumped-up Friday night, Aug. 27, as the Pride defeated Green Hope in their first home game under new assistant coach Jimmy Williams.
Coach Williams came to Leesville this year, transferring from East Wake where he was the head football and strength coach for fifteen years. “I was ready for a new chapter to begin, and a position at Leesville was available,” said Williams.
The success of the Pride is not entirely new to Williams. He worked with Coach Chad Smothers at East Wake for several years and was impressed and excited by everything that Leesville has accomplished over the past few seasons.
One of the factors that brought Williams to Leesville was the student body. “With the Grill Team and everything, the kids are more involved; they just get into it,” said the coach. “The students have been very supportive of me.”
Josh Stanley, quarterback, is one player on the team who appreciates the change. He said that Williams is “more personable” than his previous coaches. “It is evident that he loves his job,” said Stanley, “and that he cares about the team.”
It may be his first year, but Williams has clearly made his mark on the team. Ryan Mangum, running back, described the coach as someone who is actually fun to be around. Braxton Berrios, freshman phenom, referred to Williams as a coach who knows what he’s talking about.
With all of the positivity surrounding the program, Williams feels that the Pride has a genuine shot this year. “We’re working to win the conference, and then hopefully make it to the State Championship.”