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Hammond directs Bulldogs to 12 wins

MEADVILLE – For first year Franklin County first-year headfootball coach Trent Hammond, the 2008 season could not have beenbetter. Hammond, who served as head coach at Water Valley for fouryears, replaced Grady McCluskey in March of 2008. McCluskey took anassistant coaching position at Columbus.

The Bulldogs (12-2) marched their way to the South State finalswhere they fell to the Tylertown Chiefs for the second time thisseason.

For his accomplishments, Hammond has been named All-Area Coachof the Year. It is not the first time Hammond has been named Coachof the Year. In 2003, Hammond was serving as head coach at LawrenceCounty when he was honored.

“I’m excited about it,” said Hammond. “It’s an honor for ourstaff. The head coach gets the accolades or the rocks thrown.

“We’ve got some great guys here,” continued Hammond. His staffincludes Brent Calcote, Tony Gibbs, Rickey O’Quinn, Adam Barron andMike Goff.

“They do a great job. They work as hard as they can. They are anexample of different football knowledge.”

Hammond made a few changes in the offense and defense. TheBulldogs adjusted to them.

“It was a good year,” said Hammond. “Our kids adapted to ourchanges on offense and defense.”

Hammond credited the coaching staff for helping make thetransition.

“The holdover coaches (Calcote, Gibbs and O’Quinn) were alreadyhere,” explained Hammons. “They helped us in the transition. Ibrought in coaches Adam Barron and Mike Goff (a former FranklinCounty head football coach). Without them, we would not have hadthe year we did.”

Hammond stated that having former head coaches helped theteam.

” That means we all have good knowledge (of the game). Severalpeople have been head football coaches. It is great to have peopleI can bounce ideas off of. “

Hammond complimented the Bulldogs for playing hard all season,even when they were hurt.

“Our kids played hard all year,’ said Hammond. “Our kids foughtthe injuries all year. We probably played four or five gameshealthy. We had several players out at the time. The youngerplayers stepped up and filled those holes. I compliment those kidsand the coaches.”

When looking back over the season, Hammond commented on severalmemorable games.

Franklin County’s comeback win over 5A Natchez was huge at thetime. “We were down 19 points and we came back to beat Natchez(21-19). I was also proud of our play against Division opponentSouth Pike (42-6).”

One of the biggest wins for the Bulldogs, according to Hammond,was against North Mississippi power Charleston. “I knew about them(Charleston), being at Water Valley. I knew they were good.”

Hammond talked about the bone and skull stickers the players canearn and put on their helmets.

“Our team goals are posted on the wall,” said Hammond. “When theteam accomplishes a goal, the players get a bone on their helmet.To earn a skull, a player has to make a wicked lick, a big hit or abig tackle. They had to throw their body into it.”

Hammond also believes that Franklin County has the greatestweight room in the state. That helps the program.

“We have the greatest team support in south Mississippi,” addedHammond. “We will bring the people (to the games).”

Hammond is a native of Monticello. He served as an assistantcoach at Lawrence County when the Cougars won the Class 4A statefootball championship. In 2000, Hammond was an assistant coach onthe Class 4A state championship McComb Tiger team.

He was head coach at Lawrence County from 2001-2003.