FanFare 2018 - Page 28

Malakoff coach Jamie Driskell could reach 100 victories this season if the Tigers pick up 13 victories. we can get. We try to make things better and better each year, and that is not just for football. You want the kids to be proud to play for Malakoff High School. What is the best thing that you have seen as the AD at Malakoff go- ing into year No. 10? The best thing that I have seen is that the kids have bought in. They are all in, and we have really good kids who work extremely hard. We have great athletes, and the best thing that sticks out to me is their work ethic. It is second to none, and I will put it up against anybody. … I feel the work ethic and the kids’ commitment to us and coaches’ commitment to the kids runs together. We are like one family here and it is a family. That is my favorite thing is the work ethic, togetherness and commitment to one another. If you can get a deep playoff run with your current varsity record at 87-21, you could be at 100 wins, and a 10th straight playoff appear- ance. What does that mean for you? When we came here nine-to-10 years ago, that was beyond my wildest dreams. I have some coaches on staff that get on to me telling me that I need to sit back and enjoy what we have done. You keep grinding and working the kids since you have a new group every year. It is about these kids and the group that we have. I am thrilled that we have won that amount of games and getting to the playoffs every year. Football is an av- enue, and I am thrilled we have had the success. Paul Essary At Athens, Essary comes into year No. 10 with a 55-46 record as Athens all-time winningest head coach. Here is what he had to say about his time at Hornet Nation. Coming in on year No. 10 at Athens, you and Driskell are the veter- ans of the Henderson County area coaching ranks. Talk to me about what it has been like knowing you are coming into a decade being at Athens ISD. It is not surprising, but shocking because it doesn't seem like 10 years. I can remember the 2009 team that I walked into, and the first meeting I had with them. I can remember practices and after games, and it seems like maybe two years ago. I remember how those guys got things 28 turned around for us, and really started believing against Palestine Westwood. That was the turning point of our program under our regime. In 2010, we wer