CULLMAN — Recently, Addison High School introduced a new head football coach.
David Smothers is coming home to take on the role, and he’s ready to take over the program in a city where football is life.
“The biggest thing is lot of schools play football, but it seems out here, these people out here, they live it,” he said. “It isn’t just a game. I love that. I love the importance of it out here. Kids out here are physical.”
He’s already working on instilling his motto of “do the right thing” in his players.
“If you live your life by that, you’ll be a good person,” he said. “You’ll contribute to the community you live in, you’ll be a good father, be a good husband, be a good person.”
This summer, the team has workouts four days a week, so he’s been able to interact with his players a good bit since the hiring.
Even at the very first meeting, he was impressed with the new group of players.
“The first day I was there, our meeting was at 5, and at 4:40, they were waiting in locker room,” he said. “They were sitting down there and behaving.”
Smothers appreciates the self-discipline his players had. That first meeting was an example of it, and he attributes it to how they’ve been raised.
“They aren’t just spoon-fed at home, and they’re tough kids,” he said. “Just the team character overall is something that I hope to continue to have. I think it comes from the way they’ve been raised that they have some self-discipline that some kids don’t have.”
Smothers isn’t planning on making any big changes to the program. He just wants to continue its success.
“I hope it continues to be the same type of physical aggressive and love of the game, love the challenge, going into every game thinking you’re going to win,” he said.
The main thing that is going to change is some of the terminology they use around the team, such as what formations and plays are called.
“The kids are having a lot of mental learning right now,” Smothers said. “When they start getting this, we’ll be able to put more in. I don’t know when everything will be in, but by the first game, we’ll have in enough in, and we’ll be good at what we’re doing.”
Smothers said one of the most important things early on in this summer was that he had the 12-15 seniors buy into what he was saying.
“They’re all being extremely good leaders,” he said. “I have no complaints whatsoever from any class. They’re showing up and doing what’s asked of them, and they’re making me believe they’re excited about being here.”
Before returning home, Smothers was at Athens High school as an assistant football coach and the junior varsity baseball coach. He had been looking for a head coaching position anyway and being able to come home made for the perfect opportunity.
As this is his first job as a head football coach, Smothers said he feels a bit more pressure coming into this intense environment.
“I’ve got to know what I’m dong,” he said. “I’ve got to do what I know to do. It’ll all work out. I do wish I could’ve been here and done spring with them. I feel we would’ve been further along, but we’re going to get where we need to be.”
The biggest thing on his mind is that he wants to win his first game, but of course that’s not where it stops.
“It’s big on my mind to win every game,” he said. “I want to be playing in December. I know these kids want to be playing in December. That’s my goal as far as football related: put a quality team on the field every week and play guts-out until the final horn, and I don’t expect anything less. That’s what Addison does.”
One of the biggest changes that comes with being a head coach is the business side of the game. Smothers understands he needs to reach out to the community and support every aspect of Addison.
“It’s not just about them supporting me,” he said. “It’s about me supporting them, too. I’m 100 percent behind them like I expect them to be 100 percent behind me.”
Making the move to Addison with him is his wife Lesley and his three kids, Sage, 8; Rylan, 7; and Kenlee, who will be 5 this weekend.”
% Laura Owens can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.