Reeves returns to old stomping grounds as Delta Charter coach
FERRIDAY — When Gerald Reeves stands in front of the former Huntington School, former Hounds fans might feel a bit of nostalgia.
But while Reeves may be back after more than a decade, he’s not about to revive the Hounds’ football program. Instead, he’ll be building a new one in its place.
Reeves, who coached football at Huntington in 1999 and 2000, was recently named head football coach of the new Delta Charter School, which uses the same facilities as the former Huntington School.
“It feels like I’m coming home,” Reeves said. “Some of these people in Ferriday go back to my college days, so I know a lot of them.”
For the past 12 years, Reeves has coached in Louisiana, most recently as a middle school head football coach in Franklin Parish. After Huntington closed down in 2010, Reeves said he expressed interest to locals in returning to the area as a coach should a charter school open.
“My people are from Franklin County,” Reeves explained. “I know when Huntington closed down that they wanted to start a charter school, and I kept up with that.”
And once those plans were put into action, Reeves said he got in touch with Delta Charter principal Clovis Christman to discuss returning to the sidelines on which he coached in 1999 and 2000.
“I knew it was a great opportunity, and the school is really going to be supported by and helpful to the community,” Reeves said.
In addition to head football coach, Reeves will also serve as athletic director of Delta Charter. This year, the students at Delta Charter will range from kindergarten to ninth grade. The Storm won’t play a full schedule this season, but the school will add a grade each year and will apply for Louisiana High School Athletic Association membership two years from now.
“We’re trying to get athletics off the ground and start from scratch,” Reeves said.
In the meantime, Delta Charter will square off against middle school opponents, and Reeves said he’s already reached out to Adams County Christian School and Tensas Academy about possibly playing their junior varsity squads this season.
Reeves said he’s already filled out his athletics staff, with Sam Taylor coaching boys basketball, Matt Wharton coaching girls basketball, Jeanie Beach coaching softball and Chris Rayborn coaching baseball.
While Trinity Episcopal has used the school’s baseball field and Ferriday Dixie Youth softball has used the softball field, other athletic facilities haven’t been kept up since the school closed in 2010. Despite that, Reeves said the school’s young athletes are looking forward to representing the Storm.
“We’ll have to get the other ones groomed and ready to go, but the kids are really excited,” Reeves said. “They’re coming from different places throughout the area, and I think they’re all eager to strap it on and get started.”
In his first season, Reeves said he wants to teach his players the importance of representing their school well.
“We want a football team that will be leaders on the field and off the field, and we want them to be good students of the game,” he said. “We want to have an aggressive, go-get-them-type football team.”