Reeves in control at Huntington

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 30, 2000

Gerald Reeves didn’t look like a football coach who is about five months behind everybody else.

Reeves was named this week as head coach at Huntington High, only six weeks before the Hounds are scheduled to host the annual jamboree.

But there he was at Huntington High Thursday, smiling and shaking hands as if he were running for office without an opponent.

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Reeves, 46, is familiar with Huntington and greeted familiar faces at a fish cookout in his honor Thursday at the school.

Perhaps it’s the four state championships he has under his belt, or just the fact that he’s very aware of the Huntington program, but Reeves did not seem anxious or concerned about the fact he doesn’t know a single player on the team and hasn’t watched a single video (even though this veteran coach would probably still call it film).

Reeves started out as a head coach at Quitman County High in Marks in 1972, the same year he graduated from Delta State. He also spent two years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

He spent two years at Quitman before giving up coaching and going into the insurance business, working for Mutual of New York out of an office in Natchez.

&uot;That was about the time IRA’s were coming out,&uot; Reeves said. &uot;I went to the house Jack Nicholson, who was the head coach at Tensas Academy, to try and sell him an IRA. He sold me a coaching job.&uot;

Reeves spent five years at Tensas, leading the Chiefs to state championships in 1977 and 1978.

From there Reeves moved to Valley Forge Academy in Amite, La. for three years, leading Valley Forge to a state title in 1982.

Reeves then spent three years as head coach at Winnsboro High before moving on to Newellton for a year, a year that he would just as soon forget.

&uot;We finished the season with 10 players,&uot; he said.

Reeves then went to River Oaks Academy in Monroe, La., in 1990, where he spent four years, winning his fourth championship in 1990.

Then came a job as defensive coordinator at Neville High before moving on to Caldwell High for four years as head coach.

Reeves got a call from Joe Coates at Neville and returned to the Monroe school two years ago where he has been serving as assistant coach.

Coates was replaced by Scott Martin last December, but that had nothing to do with Reeves’ decision to leave.

&uot;I hated leaving Neville because I had a good relationship with the coaches,&uot; Reeves said. &uot;We were real close. It was tough telling Coach Martin I was leaving.&uot;

And it’s going to be tough getting ready for the season-opener at Glenbrook Aug. 18.

And even though he doesn’t show it, Reeves admitted time is not on his side.

&uot;Starting this late is a big penalty,&uot; he said. &uot;I haven’t met with any of the kids or seen them play.&160;And I’ve got to go off somewhere next week and won’t start until July 10th. So we’ve got to get a lot done in a little bit.&uot;

But he knows there is one thing he can count on.

&uot;I&160;started playing against Huntington in 1975, and they have always had great support,&uot; he said. &uot;They have faithful fans who follow them in the good times and bad times.&uot;

Huntington fans are hoping for more good times, as well as a certain coach picking up his fifth state championship. After all, it’s not how late you get out of the gate, it’s how you finish.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at