September 04, 2013 Edition

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Karen Pratt (center) talks with Walnut Ridge head football coach Larry Treadway (left) and Hoxie head football coach Tom Sears at the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting on Aug. 28.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Coaches address
Chamber members

Gretchen Hunt

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce quarterly meeting was all fun and games on Aug. 28 when Walnut Ridge and Hoxie's upcoming football seasons were the subject of the program.

Hoxie's Tom Sears and Walnut Ridge's Larry Treadway spoke to those gathered at the meeting. Hoxie's defensive coordinator, Brett Shrable, also spoke about the Mustangs' defense and special teams.

L.J. Bryant, director of economic development for the Chamber, noted the large crowd and joked, "It is apparent that y'all care more about football than economic development."

Tom Sears

Tom Sears, athletic director and head football coach at Hoxie High School, addressed attendees first.

"I take pride in our program and our kids," he said.

Sears has served as a head coach for 19 years, 15 of those at Hoxie. He attended Arkansas State University, where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees and was a member of the ASU football team.

"I played quarterback there for a few years," he said.

Sears and his wife, Colleen, have two children, a daughter, Courtney, who is 17, and a son, Cole, who is 16, and happens to be the Mustangs' quarterback.

He acknowledged the remainder of the HHS football coaching staff, including: Brett Shrable - defensive and special teams coordinator, Chris Wagoner - defensive line coach, Chris Murray - defensive backs coach, Jeremy Parmer - offensive guard coach and head seventh-grade coach, Drew Gardner - offensive tackle coach, tight end coach and head junior high coach and Adam Dahl - wide receiver coach.

Sears said the players had a busy summer.

"We did some pad camps in July, which was good for our kids," he said. "We also did seven-on-seven tournaments."

Hoxie returns 19 seniors to a 47-player roster.

"We've got a team that we feel pretty good about," Sears said. "Football means a lot to them. They keep you on your toes because they want to do what it takes."

He said the Mustangs face a tough conference, but he was pleased with the player's performance in their pre-season scrimmage against McCrory.

"The kids are excited," he said. "We hope to make a run at the conference championship. It will take a little luck and a lot of hard work."

Larry Treadway

Larry Treadway is athletic director at Walnut Ridge High School and head coach for the football Bobcats. He told attendees at the Chamber's quarterly meeting that he is now in his 40th year of coaching, beginning in 1973 at Paragould.

He named the WRHS football coaching staff, which includes: Joe Fisher - offensive coordinator, Jacob Kersey - defensive coordinator, Jason Ward, Steve Atkisson and Payton Edmondson, who has begun his first year of coaching. He also recognized Janna Berry, WRHS volleyball coach, who attended the luncheon.

A native of Newport, Treadway is a graduate of Arkansas State University. His wife, Diane Treadway, coaches girls' cross-country and teaches biology at Batesville High School.

His daughter, Chelsea, is now teaching at Annie Camp Junior High in Jonesboro, and his son, Logan, is a chiropractor in Little Rock.

Treadway said 2012 was the most phenomenal year of his football coaching career. The team made it to the semifinals and was made up of players with a lot of character, who kept showing up and doing their best all season. "You'll be surprised what good character can do for you," he added.

In the preseason scrimmage with Pocahontas last week, the teams did not keep score, but the Bobcats performed well, he said.

Some 28 players are playing on the junior high football squad, while there are 29 senior high Bobcats.

"We should have good junior and senior high teams," he said.

"I think we've got two good schools," Treadway said referring to Walnut Ridge and Hoxie schools and their football programs.

Treadway said football has always been his passion. He noted that he might not remember who sat next to him in English class, but he well remembers his own high school football teammates and the positions they played.

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