All-Metro Coach of Year honors go to Hurst, Harrison

Published 4:37 pm Monday, December 24, 2007

NATCHEZ — They really couldn’t be more different.

One is a grizzled veteran of over 30 years and seven state championships.

The other is a fresh-faced youngster who just finished his first season as a high school head coach.

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But Centreville coach Bill Hurst and Ferriday coach Freddie Harrison do have one things in common.

They were named 2007 All-Metro Co-coaches of the Year.

Hurst led his Tigers to a 13-2 record and the school’s seventh MPSA State Championship while Harrison led Ferriday to an undefeated regular season in one of the toughest classifications in Louisiana high school football.

One other thing the coaches have in common. They were quick to defer the credit onto their players and assistant coaches.

“I’ve got to give all the credit to the players,” Harrison said. “They went above and beyond what was expected.”

Hurst, for his part, named practically every single player on the roster when doling out credit to others besides himself.

“It’s nothing I’ve done,” Hurst said. “My coaches and the team did an outstanding job and it paid off. The Lord was also watching over us and kept us healthy throughout the year.”

Centreville’s season didn’t start the way Hurst had planned, with a loss to Parklane in the second game of the year.

But the Tigers kept improving throughout the season, and by the time the playoffs rolled around, they were ready for a championship run.

“The offensive line gelled together as the season went along and the defense improved as well,” Hurst said. “I can’t say enough about them. Game in and game out we got better. We peaked at the right time.”

Centreville concluded its season with a 36-21 victory over Marshall Academy in the Class AA title game at Mississippi College in Clinton.

It was the Tigers’ first title since 1999 but felt much longer to Hurst.

“It felt like it had been 100 years since our last one,” Hurst said. “It was a season to remember that’s for sure.”

While Hurst has been around long enough to watch the players he coaches now grow up, Harrison had to learn everything and everybody on the fly when he took over the Ferriday program in July.

He had never been a head coach before and was not much older than the players he would be coaching.

However, he didn’t let those things hinder him as he led the Trojans to an 11-0 record before falling in the playoffs.

“The first time I met the kids their eyes were wide open and so were mine,” Harrison said. “I was looking at the kids to see what I could get out of them but they went above and beyond.”

With such great success in his first season, Harrison expects to keep the ball rolling at Ferriday in the coming years.

“We laid a pretty strong foundation,” Harrison said. “We instilled some discipline, attitude and a philosophy on life. I can’t wait to see these kids develop into good, solid young men.”

So the two coaches who seem to have nothing in common have another shared trait.

They are more than just about winning games. They are trying to develop boys into men who will bring respect to their school and community.