Hodge vows to beat AHS, Lexington

New McNairy Central High coach Chad Hodge in a rousing and emotional speech to the Gridiron Association last Thursday, in Selmer, vowed to turn the MCHS football program around. 

Director of Schools John Prince called Hodge the obvious choice and Hodge showed why in his remarks to the enthusiastic crowd that packed the MCHS commons. 

“This is a good crowd to see in the commons and we just hope that you keep this up through the season. We’ve got us a winning coach,” said MCHS Principal Mickey Murphy. 

Hodge was chosen from a pool of 20 applicants, Murphy said. Of the 20, five were interviewed. After Hodge was interviewed, the four people on the committee agreed they had found the new coach. 

Hodge said the thing he likes to bring out in kids is to do things they do not know they can. 

Teams coached by Hodge have not missed the second round of the playoffs since 2005. 

“If you want to turn a program around, you’d better start shutting people down,” Hodge said, emphasizing defense. 

Hodge vowed to beat MCHS archrival Adamsville High School. 

“That’s going to start happening here. It’s going to start this year. It’s just going to repeat itself so many times, they won’t even want to play us anymore,” Hodge predicted. 

“These kids are going to have my passion—my excitement. It’s just boiling right now. I can feel it. Other people are telling me they can feel it. It’s going to be so awesome,” Hodge said. 

Hodge also vowed to defeat district rival Lexington and told its coach so. 

“You might as well get ready because I’m going to shut you down,” Hodge recounted. 

Hodge said if his new team was healthy and did what he told them to do, they would go to the second round or beyond in the state playoffs. 

“I want to win every game. I don’t care who we play. If the Tennessee Titans roll into McNairy and want to play us. Let’s suit up and let’s do it, Let’s do it now because I tell you what our boys are going to smack you in the mouth and we’re going to score on you, too. We’re going to have fun doing it,” Hodge said. 

One change Hodge predicted was that the Bobcats will finish games this year. The goal for the team will be to hold opponents to single digits while scoring 30 or 40 points, Hodge said. 

Hodge is not only a football coach but an accomplished academic instructor. 

“I’m excited to work with the faculty here, the coaching staff, the community. I believe in education,” Hodge said. 

Hodge also believes that education should build character. 

“You’re not only learning academics, but how to mold yourself into an adult and learn how to deal with other people...and how to make hard decisions,” Hodge said. 

“These kids who come to my classroom— they’re going to be working and learning,” Hodge said. 

Hodge said there was no down time in his classroom. Students will be learning constantly and enjoying it. 

“I am going to hold these boys to a higher standard,” Hodge said about his players. 

“It’s obvious what is going on here now and it’s only going to get bigger,” Hodge said. 

Hodge predicted the crowd at the next Gridiron meeting would be even larger. 

“Every meeting we have, I want to see more people,” Hodge said. 

Hodge said he wants people who do not even live in McNairy County to come to the meetings. 

One of Hodge’s goals is to raise the funds for a new field house. 

“We do need a new field house and it’s coming...and I’m going to need your help to do it,” Hodge said. 

Hodge predicted that some of the money will be raised by winning playoff games. 

Hodge told the crowd that they will want to watch practice. 

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