New radio show highlights local high school football coaches

Published 5:43 pm Monday, September 3, 2018

The first episode of Coach’s Connection with Chico Cleveland hit the airwaves this past Thursday on 100.9 WALX.

Cleveland, who played collegiate and professional football after graduating from Selma High, hosts the live radio show from The Sandbar restaurant in Selma. On the show, he interviews the local high school football coaches about their respective teams.

“I’m connected with all seven area coaches by bringing them to The Sandbar and having a conversation with them about their football team and how the season is going,” Cleveland said. “It’s just getting to know the coaches and giving them a platform for their program.”

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Viewing of the radio show is open to the public, so patrons of The Sandbar can listen in and even ask Cleveland questions during the show.

Cleveland, who is also a local trainer, has been heavily involved in the Selma and Dallas County football culture. Many of the student-athletes putting on pads and competing on Friday nights are familiar with Cleveland already. He attends practices and has a vested interest in the development of the young football players in the area.

“There is a whole lot of talent still in this area,” Cleveland said. “I think this is an area where colleges should be here every day and at practices at each of these schools because there are a lot of players that might get looked over because they don’t have proper video, recruitment techniques, connections or visibility. We have good coaches here also. There’s a lot of potential just like it was when I came out.”

Cleveland does a little bit of everything for Coach’s Connections. He shoots videos, conducts interviews and even does play-by-play commentating for the show’s game of the week.

This past week, Cleveland was in the box at Southside High School calling the game against Selma.

Each week, the radio show will pick a new game of the week to feature.

Cleveland is driven to highlight the local athletes because he knows how difficult it is to bring attention to the Queen City. When he was in high school, Cleveland had to create his own highlight tapes to send out to coaches, who otherwise may not have seen or heard about him.

“I’m basically doing what I did for myself,” Cleveland said. “I had a video camera, and I would have people video tape my game from different angles. If I knew the school was videotaping it, then I would put it together and send my film out to different coaches. Now they have different platforms, but we have to utilize them properly and do what we can for the guys that are here.”

The Coach’s Connection show provides a platform to highlight the talent within the Selma and Dallas County areas. The videos posted on the show’s Facebook page and YouTube channel gives viewers and listeners a glimpse into the Friday night action.

Coach’s Connection with Chico Cleveland airs each Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.