- Last Updated on 04:35 PM 04/08/14
- BY Joe Chandler
After four months of having the interim head football coach tag in front of his name, longtime Halifax County High School coach Kenneth Day was officially named yesterday as the head varsity football coach at Halifax County High School.
Day said the message he is going to take to the players in the high school football program is simple.
“The main thing I’m going to preach to them is we’re going to have fun, we’re going to get the job done and we’re going to do the best we can,” he pointed out.
“I think the kids will trust us. Once they see things going the right way, not that it hasn’t been going the right way in the past, I think they will get on board with what we want to do. We’re going to do things to continue to move forward. I’m going to do this as long as the kids want me to be here.”
Day, who is well-known for his ability to coach and teach the game of baseball, is also well-versed in the game of football, having coached the sport in various capacities from the ninth-grade level to the varsity level for 28 years. He said he feels he has the experience to move the Comets football program forward.
“It’s not like I was just sitting there not doing anything,” Day said.
“I’m listening to everything they say.”
Day said he plans to stay on as an assistant varsity baseball coach while taking on the head football post.
“I’ll stay as long as Coach Davis (Comets Head Baseball Coach Kelvin Davis) will have me,” Day said.
“We talked about that when we were taking about this (football) in November. The first thing I did was go and talk to Coach Davis about this.”
Halifax County High School Principal Albert Randolph said there is no problem with Day remaining as an assistant baseball coach.
“One of the advantages is that baseball is in the spring and football is in the fall,” Randolph said.
“Can you coach two sports? Yes, you can coach two sports. Do we want head coaches of two sports? No, probably not.”
Randolph said five outside candidates were interviewed for the head varsity football position and were considered along with Day.
“Often, when you look for head coaches, it takes a period of time to make the transition,” Randolph explained.
“We felt it was best to select a person that could serve as the interim head coach to provide continuity and continue to move us forward.
“Our intent is to keep continuity in the program,” added the high school principal.
“It’s very difficult to be successful if you’re switching coaches every year. We’re planning to build a quality staff around Coach Day to be able to make sure it (the transition) is as seamless as possible.”
Halifax County High School Associate Principal Michael Lewis said Day is the right person to take the reigns of the Comets football program.
“In the past I had the benefit of working with Coach Day, having the advantage of learning how he worked with his teammates in the coaches’ office as well as his student-athletes on the field,” Lewis pointed out.
“His leadership is great. He’s going to be there for the kids, and I feel that is very important. I feel he is the right person to move this football program forward. I look forward to working with him and helping develop his staff.”
Randolph said the football weight-training program is in full swing, and there are coaches at the weight room each day to supervise activities.
“We’ve got people hired to supervise the weight room in the afternoons, at least four days a week, so we’ve got some support there,” Randolph explained.
“We’re lifting and conditioning,” Day added.
“We’ve got people in place taking care of that right now. You don’t have to worry about me not being seen. I’m driving the kids over to the field house after school on a bus. I’m still getting to baseball practice at 3:30 p.m. before our (baseball) kids get out there on the field. I talk to Coach Vogt, Coach Lloyd, Coach Keeney, Coach Bane and walk through the locker room before they start lifting. They see me and they know if there is a problem one of the coaches will let me know and I will stay over there extra time.”
Day has already begun the process of forging a relationship with Halifax County Middle School football coach Frank Shealy and his staff.
“I’ve talked to Coach Shealy already,” he said, “and I’ve talked to Coach Long about things going on over there. I think they do a good job over there at the middle school. They’re putting good athletes in this program over here.”
Day said he has been talking to students that he comes into contact with during the day about coming out for the football team.
“We’re going to do the best we can to get them out there,” Day said.
“I’m seeing kids in the hallway (during the school day). One of the main things I’ve told the rising seniors is if some of the buddies you see outside are interested, get them to come out with you. Just tell them to get on board, and we’re going to have a good time.”
Day said he is encouraging the younger players in the program to stay on board with the football program.
“I’m trying to get the young kids in there,” he pointed out.
“There is a good core group of young kids in this program with last year’s ninth-grade team and the middle school kids coming up. There is some talent there.”