Morton hires new head coachBy JAMES PHILLIPS,
The Morton High School Panthers start 2019 with a new head football coach. MHS has finalized the hiring of Sean Gerald to take the reins of the football program after former head coach Ty Weems stepped down following the 2018 football season. This will be Gerald’s first head coaching position and he comes to MHS with a lot of excitement after being a integral part of transforming his alma mater Florence High School football program into a yearly playoff team.
Gerald has held coaching positions with Florence High School twice, Brookhaven High School and Northeast Lauderdale High School. This past season Gerald served as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach for the FHS Eagles under head coach Steve Pruitt.
Gerald said that he has played and coached against Morton throughout his playing days and coaching career and has always been impressed with the Panthers on the field and and the support the team has from the community. “I have played against Morton and coached against them and I have always been impressed with the athletes they put on the field and the way the community fills the bleachers,” Gerald said. “I told my wife if the Morton job ever comes open that I would be the first to put my name in for the position.”
As with most things in life, timing is everything. Gerald has applied for the head coaching job at Morton once before, but that was not the right time and nothing ever transpired. However, this time around as soon as the head coaching position came open for the MHS job Geralds immediately put his name in for consideration and this time around the timing was right and he now has the job he has thought about for years.
“I just remember every time we played Morton, I left the games thinking they really have something special there,” said Gerald. “This time around the timing was right and everything fell into place and I could not be more excited to get going and be part of the Morton community.”
Gerald is not only excited about the opportunity to turn around the Panther football program, he, his wife Nikki, and three children are truly looking forward to moving to Morton and becoming a part of the community.
“We are looking forward to moving to Morton and becoming part of this wonderful community,” Gerald said. “We are going to work hard to serve this community and make this team something everyone in the community and surrounding areas can be truly proud of.”
The Morton Panthers finished the 2018 season with a record of 3-9 and suffered their 11th straight loss to arch rival Forest in the battle for the Golden Chicken. The Bearcats have dominated this series during the last decade and this is a stat that Gerald will be looking to change immediately.
“I have always thought that Morton has something special when it came to their football team and we are going to look to bring a whole culture change to the football team and make this community proud with our attitude and effort on the field,” he said. “we are going to work hard in everything we do and I believe its time to bring that Golden Chicken back to Morton.”
Gerald said that changing the culture of the team will entail more that just effort and attitude, and he is looking to make a positive effect in all his players lives. “I’m tremendously excited to be part of the school and the community and we will work to create more than a winning football team we want our players to be winners at life,” he said. “I want to be a positive part of these kids lives and mentor them about attitude and effort both on the field and in their daily lives. We want to mentor our players in football and life and then see what kind of job we did when our former players get to be 25.”