The new face on the sideline at Walker Valley isn’t really a new face, so to speak. Glen Ryan, head coach for the Mustangs, was on the scene in 2010 as an assistant before being elevated to the top spot after last season.
At Cleveland, Ron Crawford arrived from Brentwood in April to lead the Blue Raiders. Crawford comes to town after a hugely successful run with the Bruins hoping to lead the Raiders back to the front of the pack.
Also to Cleveland comes another new face to a new position. The face itself is not new — Eric Phillips, who recently stepped aside as wrestling coach at CHS, steps into the position of athletics director. With his love for sports and love for people in general, the transition for Phillips should be a relatively easy one with his affable personality and work ethic.
Phillips joins a group of ADs who, in my humble opinion, are the best any sports department could ask for. There is Turner Jackson at Bradley Central, Mike Turner at Walker Valley and Ronnie German at Polk County. All three have routinely gone well above and beyond the call of duty to fulfill any request, no matter how large or trivial.
There is far more to the job of AD than us civilians can understand. Long hours, long weeks and an endless to do list in and out of the office keep those guys hopping.
Back in the coaching ranks, in the short time I have had the privilege of working with Messrs. Crawford and Ryan, I’ve discovered two gentlemen who have a love for the game of football, a love for the athletes they work with and a love for the job they do.
Those guys also join a group of colleagues who love what they do, are very good at what they do and have made my job infinitely less complicated.
Derrick Davis, head coach of the Polk County Wildcats, and Damon Floyd of the Bradley Central Bears have graciously endured and patiently put up with my endless stalking and asking of questions they have been asked hundreds of times before.
Sorry, Glen and Ron for what you have to look forward to.
Along with their AD counterparts, this group of football coaches could possibly be the best in the state when it comes to the help they provide and their tolerant demeanor when it comes to dealing with request after request.
With Floyd, Crawford, Ryan and Davis in place in the coaching trenches and Phillips, Jackson, German and Turner in the front offices, this football season is already shaping up to be one of the best on record.
Thanks guys, for the jobs you do and I apologize in advance for another year of having to deal with never ending requests and favors.
Richard Roberts is Sports Editor for the Cleveland Daily Banner. Write him at Richard.Roberts@clevelandbanner.com.