Our own Howard Hickerson introduced Tom Shoats, football coach at Cumberland County High School, along with Rocky Gora, the successful coach from Pleasant Hill, and three "humongous" football players.

Choats graduated from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. While there, he received the "Iron Man" award and a degree in special education. Shoats played pro ball at Dallas and with the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

The FG Rotary Club was impressed with the coach's enthusiasm and he told us the following:

The coaching staff honestly believes the players are first. During practice and in the halls, the players are fairly treated, with no selfish motivation. When things get rough on the field, the team will respond positively.

Although the split between the two high schools produced some early problems, the coaches feel there will be a healthy rivalry between them. Shoats and the staff see a season of continual growth and when the team faces an opponent of equal ability, the team that loves their coach will prevail.

Coach Tom, we enjoyed your presentation, and we will be in the stands cheering for you and your victorious team. Your pledge of "kids first" is unique in your profession, and may you all have awesome success. God bless you and your team.

Recommended for you