Nelson to lead Northeast Trojans
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 22, 2002
Newton native Steve Nelson has been named head football coach at Northeast Lauderdale. Nelson, 34, replaces Andy Stevens, who went 3-7 in his one season with the Trojans.
Nelson comes to Northeast after a three-year stint as head football coach at Lake. The Hornets were 19-15 in his three seasons, going 6-5 in 1999, 7-5 in 2000, and 6-5 in 2001. The 2000 Hornets made it to the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
While Nelson comes into 2002 with three straight winning seasons under his belt, Northeast brings an 11-year drought into this fall. The Trojans' last winning season came in 1990 when they went 8-3 under Joel Speed, losing 20-7 to West Marion in the Taylorsville Lions Bowl. Over that 11-year span, Northeast is 24-93.
The 2001 Trojans got off to a 3-0 start with wins over Heidelberg (28-0), Southeast Lauderdale (14-8), and West Lauderdale (44-37), but never recovered from tough losses to Magee (50-46) and West Jones (9-8) the next two weeks.
The Trojans are already behind as far as preparations for 2002 go.
Nelson began his career as an assistant football coach for three years at Lake. He also was the boys' basketball coach, leading the Hornets to the Class 1A State Tournament in 1994 where they lost 71-58 to Wheeler in the opening round.
He spent the next five years as defensive coordinator at Newton. The first three years were under Roy McCrory with the next two under Jeff Breland. The Tigers reached the Class 2A South State championship game in 1995 and 1996 where they lost to powerhouses Taylorsville and Ackerman.
Nelson also coached the Newton boys' basketball team, taking the 1995 Tigers to the Mississippi Coliseum for the Class 2A State Tournament where they lost 83-72 to Baldwyn in the first round.
Nelson said he plans to move to Lauderdale County as quickly as possible.
Northeast opens its 2002 season at home against Heidelberg on Aug. 30.