His team is 16-2 with a 4-0 District record. With a 2016 top Mississippi prospect in Darius Hicks and despite DeQuan Stanley’s injury, Coach Chris Coleman is gunning for a State Championship. Some have warned him not to dream so big, but he knows this team can do it.
Right now they are taking it one game at a time, and this past Tuesday’s practice was the day of the Newton County game. We were able to catch up with Coach Coleman, but it’s not easy. He typically only allows his wife, three kids, team, their parents and his coworkers time for conversation. Otherwise he is eating, drinking, and sleeping basketball. Today’s practice speaks to the fact he knows what the other team is going to do tonight. How multiples of five will play out on this very court and he’s telling these guys how to play against it.
You should see how they listen to him.
Coleman smiles while shaking his head, “I allow my guys to take July and spend it with their families. I know they need a break, but they’re back in the gym after a week. You can’t stop these guys. I give them a month. They take off a week.” He doesn’t mention it, but we know they are practicing in a gym without air conditioning.
During practice we hear some more Coach Coleman quotes.
“Take it and make it.”
“Don’t settle for long shots you ain’t gotta take.”
“Make ‘em compete with ya’. Make ‘em compete for ya’.”
The list goes on of that voice the young men on this team will hopefully hear forever down the road, because it’s not just about the game tonight. It’s about how they live their lives.
For the record the Panthers beat Newton County that night, and for anyone wanting to witness what this team is doing you are cordially invited to come to any game. You can find their schedule here.
Employee Focus is a weekly article featured on this website. We choose the employee by randomly drawing a name from a basket. Then we contact the employee to ask permission for the interview/photo shoot. Our goal is to inform you of why we think Quitman School District’s second greatest asset, second only to it’s students, is it’s employees.