Meek hopes for more success

Tigers went 7-4 in Norwood’s first year as head coach

By JEFFERY WINBORNE, Eagle Sports Correspondent
Posted 8/22/18

In his first year as head coach at Meek, David Norwood led his Tigers to a 7-4 record and a playoff berth in class 1A.

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Meek hopes for more success

Tigers went 7-4 in Norwood’s first year as head coach

Posted

In his first year as head coach at Meek, David Norwood led his Tigers to a 7-4 record and a playoff berth in class 1A.

But he isn’t focused on that, rather what it will take to continue to move Meek forward and grow as a program. For that to happen, Coach Norwood believes it not only requires a buy-in from his team, but also the community as a whole.

“I think anywhere you go, it doesn’t matter where you are, chemistry always has to do with having the right guy at the right place. I love living here and I love these kids,” Norwood said. “I’ve always coached at bigger schools, I’ve never coached at a 1A school (until arriving at Meek.) It has to be a community thing. It can’t be just our kids; it has to be our town, it has to be our faculty, it has to be everybody thinking ‘We expect to win.’”

The Tigers are moving to Class 1A, Region 6 in 2018.

Their schedule consists of only three teams that had winning records in 2017; county-rival Lynn, South Lamar and Pickens County, both of whom were in the final four of the 2017 Class 1A bracket.

“You’re not going to have to do anything to get our kids ready to play against Lynn. But they understand that Pickens County and South Lamar went deep into the playoffs last year. They know that we’re going to have to have a great week of practice those weeks.”

To get in a position to compete with those teams, Norwood will be relying on experienced leadership on the field. That leadership will start with senior quarterback Payton Key.

“He’s become a student of the game, he knows what we’re doing on offense and what we’re trying to accomplish. He’s progressed as a quarterback,” Norwood said of Key.

The Tigers’ star running back, John Mark Abercrombie, graduated last year and Norwood knows he will not be able to “replace a guy like John Mark, he’s an exceptional athlete. John Mark had a couple of track offers, he could fly. We are not going to have that type of speed.” Instead Meek will be looking to Gabe Jones, who just missed out on the starting position in 2017.

“(Gabe Jones) broke his leg in a car wreck last year one week before the season and he’s back. He would have started at running back last year.”

Meek took a step forward in 2017, but Coach Norwood is focused on progressing one step at time, while keeping in mind what the expectations are for the Tigers.

“If you’re going to play here and play for me, you need to expect to go to the playoffs every year and you need to expect to advance in the playoffs every year. That has to be your mindset going into the season every year,” he said.