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Kevin Lacey takes Wildcat helm

By Bart Moss

For the FCT


The Tharptown Wildcats will start the 2016 football season under new leadership. Kevin Lacey, a 2006 graduate of Phil Campbell High School, will take over the Wildcat football program after Jason Murray was not retained.

Lacey is 28-year old graduate of Athens State College. He was already employed at Tharptown as a special education teacher. He will move to the gym and teach physical education.

Lacey has been at Tharptown for three years. He served his first two years coordinating the Jobs for Alabama Graduates program.

“I am very proud to have the opportunity to lead this group of young men,” said Lacey. “These guys need some stability, someone who will work them and expect a lot out of them. We are going to set some goals and have high expectations of what we want in the character and work ethic of our players and build a program.”

Tharptown will drop to Class 1A this year after a few years competing in Class 2A. The move to a lower classification could help Lacey in his transition from assistant coach to head coach.

“We still have a tough schedule,” said Lacey. “But we should be able to compete in every one of (our games) and have a chance to win if we work hard and play smart.”

Lacey was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but he said he feels like the most important lessons he learned came from a two-year run to the state championship in baseball at Phil Campbell in 2005 and 2006.

“Reflecting on those years has had a huge impact on where I am today and will heavily influence the way I coach,” sad Lacey. “I learned the importance  of how far hard work can actually take you and the importance of instilling self-confidence in every player can impact the team as a whole. Work ethic, player management, team building and building self-confidence are the things that made us successful.”

Lacey looks forward helping guide the Wildcat program.

“My goal is to teach this group the satisfaction of success and grow the program into one the players, school and community can be proud of when the lights come on on Friday nights,” he said.

Lacey’s first game as a head coach will not be an easy one. The Wildcats will open the season at Lacey’s alma mater Phil Campbell Aug. 19.