Pemberton works to unify football

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Rhea County High School Coach Mark Pemberton watches Middle School Jamboree games. (Photo: GaryBolden/RheaReview)

Pemberton integrates football system throughout the county

Evensville, TN — Back in summer a couple of vacancies led Rhea County High School Coach Mark Pemberton to consider implementing some interesting changes for the coaching structure at Rhea Middle School and Spring City Middle School

“Both Middle School Head Coaches asked to move up to coach on the High School staff. My first thought process was, what would happen to the Middle Schools if we lose both of the head coaches. I understood their motivation for wanting to move up,” said Coach Pemberton.

“We decided to see if we could work it out. It took months to work out the details. We worked so we could split our High School staff so half could work at Rhea Middle School and half with Spring City Middle School for the last period of the day. The coaching staff has worked with them all summer. We include them in our workouts now. We are really excited. These kids will be in our system from the 6th grade on.”

“We have even started down into our feeder programs, the Little Eagles and Red Dogs. We are trying to get them familiar with our system. They may not be able to run all our plays but they can run some and understand the terminology of how to do things.”

“Usually the really good programs have this type of structure. The program at Catholic, where I coached was structured this way. We wanted to try to achieve consistency in our program. It gives the Middle School kids familiarity with the High School coaches. That way there isn’t fear when moving up to the High School. I think it’s a win-win situation.”

“We really appreciate Superintendent Jerry Levengood and the Principals at the schools for the work they did to make this happen. It wasn’t any easy thing to free up those coaches. There was a lot of work that went into the change.”

The coaching staff at Rhea Middle School this year is Jeremy Fitzgerald and assistants Josh Rodda,Tommy Mitchell, Peter Billingsly.

The coaching staff at Spring City Middle School is Jerry Cook and assistants Anthony Loden, Mark Romero and Roy Guthrie.

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