South Side puts the 2016 season behind them

JACKSON, Tenn. — This week high school football teams across West Tennessee began spring practices. This is normally when teams begin establishing who they are and who they want to be, come fall. But for the South Side Hawks, that’s a tougher task, because the team still doesn’t have a head coach.

Coming into this spring, interim head coach, Tyler Reeder, said the Hawks have one mission, put the 2016 season behind them.

“You know it’s very important, we’ve been in the weight room all winter, working and it’s nice now, we can get outside and put some pads on and see what you gon have next year,” Reeder said.

The motto is clear for the 2017 Hawks, according to defensive lineman, Clevin Hill.

“100 percent all the time, each play, each down, each quarter, each game,” Hill said.

But one thing is unclear, and that is who will be the head coach next season. The Hawks lost their head coach three weeks into the 2016 season due to an ongoing legal matter.

“It was bad, it was bad, we had to come together as a team and work with each other and keep moving forward,” Hill said.

Reeder, who had been an assistant coach for three years, took control of the team as an interim head coach.

“I told the guys, you know there’s nothing we can do about that, it is what it is, we don’t need to talk about it,” Reeder said.

Reeder led the team to their only win of the season, taking down Westview.

“They really respect him a lot, and he’s jumped in you know, head first and he’s been full go from there,” offensive coordinator, Brent McNeal said.

He’s also earned the respect of his team.

“A+, because he did his job, filling in for something devastating that happened and we kept the ball moving,” Hill said.

Now a proven leader, according to many, Reeder says he’s ready to lose the interim part of his title.

“The kids know this is where I want to be. You know I’m exactly where I want to be, I love the kids, I love what we’re doing,” Reeder said. “I think we got something going great here, you know, so I want to stick it out.”

I asked principal Anita Tucker if she knew when the school would make a decision on a permanent head football coach. She said, “no I don’t, I don’t have any information.”