Heath takes the reigns

After working with the team for 17 years, John Heath is hired as head coach for Patriot football.

Heath takes the reigns

With big expectations and big shoes to fill, new South High head football coach John Heath said he plans to implement the core value of brotherhood and comrade to the Patriot football family.

  “One of our core values is brotherhood. The development of that family/brotherhood is a process that begins with bringing great coaches that love the game,” said Heath.

  Coming off one of the Patriots’ best seasons in a decade with thefirst time having a record .500 or above since the 2012-13 season 10 years ago, South fought for a 5-5 record coached by Tom Beauchamp who retired after coaching Patriot football for two seasons.

But Heath has already been an assistant coach for Parkway South for nearly 17 years now, so many players already know him as a coach and are ready for him to lead the Patriots this year.

“With already knowing all of the players pretty well, A better relationship is a big thing that coach Heath has,” junior middle linebacker Danny Morrow said.

Coming into next season Heath said he has many plans and ideas on what will make South a better team and what will make the players improve. 

“My goal is to continue to develop all aspects of the program to make it the best it can be for our students and community. Along with bringing a sense of pride to the team, and school,” said Heath.

Coach Heath is already a business teacher at South High, so Heath has already been making relationships with other coaches and players outside of football.

“He’s always got everyone’s back. He is just another adult I can trust within the school and within the program,” said sophomore quarterback Jamison Lombardo.

After a great season where Parkway South went 5-5 which is one of the best records the Patriots have had in years, Heath said he is very excited to see what this team can do in the future.

 “I am excited for every season. We have some players that played significant snaps and will need some players to take the next step to becoming a Friday night player,” said Heath.

Even the team’s assistant coaches have similar thoughts on upcoming seasons and improvements to the team. 

“I think the South football community can and will improve in a variety of areas.  Already we are seeing a bigger commitment in multi-sport athletes. We are seeing numbers rise in the number of student-athletes taking part in the weight training activity,” said assistant coach Kyle Whitcher.

But with many expectations going into next season, there are many seniors graduating who played a large role in the South High football program, including running back La’ron Eason, wide receiver Brandon Ingram, defensive back PIerce Bryant, Defensive lineman Kyle Brown, and many more. 

So next season, the Patriots will definitely be a younger team than before knowing there aren’t nearly as many upcoming seniors as last year.

“We lost a bunch of seniors which sucks, but we are kinda unique because we lost about 20 of them. We have to step up as sophomores and juniors and even freshmen. I feel confident because of all of the work we have been putting in,” Morrow said.

Even though many seniors are leaving, this doesn’t stop other players on the team from being very excited for the next season with Heath, and believe he will help impact anyone on this team and have everything under control. 

“I think that Heath brings energy to the program and it is someone that we’ve all created good relationships with,” said Lombardo.

The Patriot football team is definitely looking forward to next year knowing they have a new good head coach and looking to improve each year. 

“My goal for this year and every year moving forward will be to say this program continues to develop young men to be better versions of themselves through brotherhood, hard work, and competition,” said Heath.