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Thomson native heading south to continue football coaching career

Wesley Harrell is headed south.

The 32 year-old Thomson native is moving to Cordele to take the reins of the football program at Crisp Academy. He will also serve as the school's athletic director and head baseball coach. He will teach physical education.

Crisp Academy is a college preparatory private school that plays in Region 1-A South of the Georgia Independent Schools Association. According to, the Wildcats had a record of 16-15 over the last three football seasons but won 10 games in both 2002 and 2003.

Harrell was on the coaching staff at Thomas Jefferson Academy in Louisville this past school year and on the staff of John Hancock Academy in Sparta for the previous four years. Thomas Jefferson was the GISA Class A state football champion in 2006.

Crisp Academy staff member Cliff Hearn contacted Harrell about applying for the open position, and he was offered the job at the conclusion of the interview. He was, of course, attracted to the opportunity and could not help but notice the great athletic facilities on the 30 year old campus.

"I'm locked and loaded to stay in coaching forever, so I couldn't pass up this chance," Harrell said. "Their fields, weight room and facilities are really better than any of the private schools that I have been around."

Harrell told the Cordele Dispatch newspaper that his football philosophy is to run the ball and then run it some more. He told me that John Hancock Coach Bob Peck was his greatest influence in coaching, followed closely by former Briarwood Coach Sammie Lamb. He also cited the strict disciplinary policies of Thomas Jefferson Headmaster/Head Coach Chuck Wimberly as something that he wishes to emulate.

"If you watch Navy under Coach Paul Johnson or if you watched Georgia Southern when Mike Sewak was the coach you saw the offense that I will try to run," Coach Harrell described.

He was referring to what most football fans refer to as the "Hambone" offense made famous by former Georgia Southern quarterback Tracy Ham. He pointed out that his goal is to get his team to the point of being able to execute a true triple option offense.

"I also have learned that if there is not discipline within a school, there probably won't be any on the football team either. Coach Wimberly at TJ quickly showed me how important sticking to your total discipline plan is," Harrell said.

Wesley is a graduate of Briarwood Academy and Augusta State University. His mother is Mrs. Jean Harrell and his father was the late Mr. John Harrell.

Before it is too late, I want to wish Kristopher Wells the best of luck in his new position at Augusta State University. Kris is a well-grounded young man, and I see great things in his future. I can see him one day becoming a community leader, hopefully in McDuffie County.

Kristopher has many assets but to me his greatest quality as a reporter was like that of a good referee in sports. He could cover an event, be right smack in the middle getting all of the details, and yet you would hardly even notice him. He was truly professional in his role and respected the space of those that he was writing about.

He will be a first class ambassador for Augusta State. I even heard he was encouraging the Jaguars to play Duke in basketball. Then he would have to pull against the Blue Devils for once.

Web posted on Thursday, May 31, 2007

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