KIM CRAFT: Change comes to Southside, Kickoff section
Sat. August 24, 2013 at 10:58 p.m. | By Kim Craft Sports Editor
Everyone knows not to waste energy on things you can’t control, but sometimes it’s hard not to allow things that are beyond your control to cause a little frustration.
We found ourselves here in sports department briefly feeling a little bit that way Wednesday when we first got word about head football coach Marty Smith resigning at Southside. The initial word of him leaving the program proved true later in the day when his resignation was accepted during a called meeting of the Etowah County Board of Education.
Smith’s resignation came eight days before the start of the 2013 regular season and one day ahead of the Panthers’ jamboree game with Glencoe. Losing a head coach at any time can’t be easy for high school players. The timing of this loss had to be especially difficult for the players who were entering their third year under Smith’s guidance. Similarly, Smith’s resignation wasn’t something he took lightly.
His resignation also came four days before The Gadsden Times’ annual high school preview section, Kickoff with The Times, published with Sunday’s edition. Kickoff with The Times includes previews of the 27 high school teams in our coverage area and already had been printed when Smith submitted his resignation. That being the case, Smith is listed as the coach for Southside this season even though he no longer is. That frustrated us, ever so briefly.
As it did though, I couldn’t help but remember something else I’ve heard repeatedly: sports are part of your life, but they’re not your life.
It was a great time for a little perspective to enter the realm of thought. I have to believe the remaining coaching staff at Southside provided the players with some needed perspective in the wake of Smith’s resignation. Players and coaches go through a lot together on and off the field of play. When one member of the team, be it player or coach, leaves, those remaining take care of one another. That’s what will happen with Southside and what’s happening with many of the teams in The Times’ coverage area this season.
Smith’s resignation at Southside meant five of the 10 football teams in Etowah County will begin this season with a different head coach. What’s more, accounting for Smith, 11 of 27 high school football teams in The Times’ coverage area have new coaches this season.
Turn the pages of this year’s preview section and read about all the new faces. As you do, you’ll notice some changes we made to the section. We increased the page count and added more content. We hope you enjoy reading Kickoff with The Times as much as we enjoyed producing it for you.
Times Sports Editor Kim Craft can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at GT_KimCraft.