Shipman’s goal: Win football games at John Essex High

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 13, 2004

JEFFERSON – Alphus Shipman is returning to John Essex high school.

After a three-year break from the school where he used to coach, Shipman is coming back to the Hornets football team to take over as head coach.

School administrators did not renew Pierre Goode’s contract after he failed to complete certification requirements as a teacher in Alabama.

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Shipman has only one goal as he approaches this season.

“My main goal is just to win a game,” Shipman said.

According to Shipman, the biggest returning star to the Hornets is Demetric Edwards.

As far as expectations, Shipman wants to stick to the basics.

“I just want my guys to play hard,” Shipman said.

“Work hard and play hard, that’s all I expect.”

One of the major challenges facing Shipman is to re-produce what happened last year, as the 2003-2004 squad exploded with a break-through season.

“Three years ago, I was head coach here, and now I am coming back,” Shipman said.

“My biggest challenge will probably be getting all of the guys pointed in the right direction.”

John Essex will be playing a tough schedule this season in a region loaded with talent.

“Our region is pretty tough,” Shipman said.

“But in my opinion, our toughest opponent will be American Christian, as they won regionals last year.

AL Johnson, Linden, and Sunshine will also be hard to beat.”

As far as where Shipman believes his team will be come November 1st, it’s a pretty simple answer.

“Where every coach sees his team,” Shipman said.

“Getting ready for the playoffs.”

John Essex begins play at home on August 27th against Marengo.