By RODNEY YOUNG SWT, Sports Writer
MAX MEADOWS – The Fort Chiswell Pioneer football program has gone under some drastic changes from last year.
First, head coach Stephen James took the opening head coaching job at Pulaski County. Then coaches Mike Anders, Rob Colley and Dewey “the main man” Clemons joined Coach James as well.
Former Pulaski County Cougar assistant and former Carroll County Cavaliers head coach Tommy Hale took over the Pioneer program just a short time ago, and now comes news that another former Cougar assistant, coach Rodney Landreth, has been named as an assistant for the upcoming Pioneer football staff.
Coach Landreth comes to the Pioneer program after helping former Cougar head coach Jack Turner at Auburn High School the past two years. Last season they made the playoffs, making it to the second round.
The Pioneers have gotten lot of football experience on the staff with the addition of Rodney Landreth, along with other new assistant coaches added to the staff.
“I’m excited and very pleased that Coach Landreth is coming on board,” said Coach Hale. “I’ve known Rodney since 1985. He was a senior at Pulaski County when I came to Dublin. He’s been the defensive coordinator the last two years for Coach Turner and he brings a lot of knowledge of the game to our staff. He will teach and coach at Fort Chiswell, and is a great teacher of the game and quality coach of the game. We got a good one.”
Coach Hale has also added Todd Tiller from Grundy High School and Jerrad Blevins from Chilhowie. Danny Dunford will also been on the staff, as well as Josh Wingate. Wingate will also be the head junior varsity coach. The leader of the eighth grade football team will be head coach Will Freeman. His assistants are scheduled to be Clinton Beasley and Chucky Brown.
“Coach Tiller will be the defensive coordinator,” said Coach Hale. “He brings lots of experience to our football program. Coach Blevins is an up and coming coach and is very smart. He not only coached at Chilhowie but played there as well. Coach Wingate will be the head of the junior varsity team. He works well with the kids and is very hard working. Coach Dunford has been doing lots of work with the county rec teams and knows a lot of the kids. I’m excited about him being on the staff. ”
“Coach Will Freeman will stay on as the head guy at the middle school,” said Hale. “He prepares the kids so well that I couldn’t bring myself to move him up to JV or varsity. He does an outstanding job for the middle school and that’s one very important position. I truly like him being in that position. We talked and he knows how much I’m counting on him. His assistants will be Clinton Beasley and Chucky Brown. Beasley has been a volunteer assistant but now will be a paid one and Brown does a good job as well.”
The Pioneers open the season on August 29 with a home game against Rural Retreat.