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Strong greets team, fans

For Meadowview football coach Kenneth Strong, describing Monday as a whirlwind day was an understatement.

He left his family in Arcola, Miss. Monday morning to make the 305-mile trip to Selma. He arrived at 2 p.m., met with his new team and took it through its first day of spring training before meeting with the Meadowview Booster Club at 6:30.

Though his head may have been spinning, he left day one excited about the players he has to work with.

“They definitely had a lot of great attitudes,” said Strong. “They had real good enthusiasm, a lot of morale. This group won’t be hard to motivate. They’re hungry.”

New Meadowview assistant Robin Terry, who coached at Dallas County High School last fall, conducted weight room workouts with the team before Strong arrived. This is the first time he and Strong have worked together, but he likes what he sees so far.

“I respect the head coach, like his ideas and think we’ll work well together,” said Terry. “[The players] really surprised me at how excited they are. I’m liking what I’m seeing.”

The Trojans didn’t have much time for a workout on Monday, as there were administrative tasks to tend to. The team was issued equipment and began learning Strong’s offensive system and terminology. The players will spend the rest of the week vying to catch Strong’s eye.

“We’re starting a lot of people at new positions because we lost a large graduating class,” said Strong. “The luxury in that is, I don’t know what we lost. It’s a fresh start for everybody. We’ve got 11 offensive positions and 11 defensive positions up for grabs.”

Rising sophomore Tracy Smith hopes to grab one of those positions. The 132-pound Smith spent his freshman season on special teams and also saw duty at offensive guard and on the defensive line.

“I think he’s going to work out pretty well,” said Smith, who is hoping for a shot at wide receiver. “I’m going to go out there and do my best, show him what I’ve got and see where he’ll put me.”

A new coach often brings a new theme to excite the fans and team, but Strong made it clear to the booster club that he has no such intention. He said he likes Meadowview’s old traditions, particularly the five AISA titles the football program has won.

“I want to put the young men in the very best position to have success,” said Strong. “I want to win a state championship, and I want to win one at Meadowview.