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The new SHS athletic director and head football coach Shane Mobley was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the local Kiwanis chapter. The noon-time meeting was held at Bee's DÃ©cor in downtown Sweetwater.
Joining Mobley at the meeting were his two coordinator coaches, Zach Harrell and John Ward, who were introduced to the Kiwanis group. The Harrell family has left a large imprint within Texas high school football, while Ward--who is also a pastor--has over twenty years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level.
Mobley stated that, with the help of these coaches and the entire staff, he hopes to keep a Christian tradition within the school while setting a high standards for district athletes.
The new coach shared a bit of information about himself, recapping his 15 years of coaching in schools at Winters, Sonora, Andrews, his prior stint in Sweetwater, Prosper and Seguin. He elaborated on his time in Seguin, where he and his wife--Tecka, a Sweetwater native--were able to once again work at the same district and how he had the opportunity to coach his son in middle school.
Family is a big priority to Mobley, who continually reiterates to his staff that only one shot is given to be a parent. Should an athletic event coincide with a coach's family activity, Mobley said that other coaches will step in to allow the staff member to fulfill their parental duties.
Mobley spent most of his time discussing the athletic program, remembering the deeply instilled "Mustang Pride" that was evident during his first time in Sweetwater under head coach Kent Jackson, with the goal of bringing the Pride back.
"We're going back old-school," stated Mobley.
He hopes to bring back the Sweetwater Mustang tradition, a stark contrast to head coaches who strive to start their own traditions at the helm of leadership. To gain that "old-school" insight, he said that he recently spoke with former Sweetwater head coach W.T. Stapler while at the Big Country Hall of Fame ceremony to learn the Mustang traditions of the past.
In seeing the athletes, Mobley says they're great kids who have an appetite to win--but he knows that it will take time. He and the staff will work toward instilling hard work and dedication into the student-athletes.
One concern Mobley has as athletic director is the middle school program--to "get them at a young age"--and he hopes to instate a middle school coordinator. But all around the district, Mobley wants to involve every athlete in every sport to comprise a united athletic program at Sweetwater.
A brief Q&A session was then held between Mobley and Kiwanis members. Mobley said that, upon his second time in Sweetwater, he felt that the program broke away from the "old-school", but he and his staff plan to revive it by stressing the importance of manners, good grades and hard work while checking in on the students in the classroom.
Strength and conditioning will be heavily implemented, as Mobley noted that following a sport's season, they will participate in six to eight weeks of straight strength and conditioning workouts.
He also desires to have every coach on the same page when addressing discipline issues. Profanity will not be allowed, said Mobley, with consequences given for breaking the rules in order for the students to be held at a higher accountability.
Dealing with discipline will be increased under the Mobley regime through what he calls "tough love", but the coach believes that not only do students need it--they want it. He intends to promote all around respect by teaching professionalism and humility with just the right amount of "swagger".
Coach Mobley was also asked about his stance on bullying, stating that he was totally against it. The issue will be addressed if athletes are involved in such behavior, as he pointed out that being an athlete is a choice that comes with being held to a higher standard.
He says that he expects athletes to intervene should they be a witness to bullying, and he wants all athletes to interact with all students. Mobley plans on implementing youth programs where the varsity athletes gather with elementary students, on and off campus, in order to become positive role models for younger students.