Watford: Coach of the Year

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

NEWBERN &045; The Alabama Sports Writers Association has named long time Sunshine High School football coach, Frank Watford, the 1A coach of the year.

Watford and his staff guided the Tigers to the state quarterfinals this season. It was the schools first ever appearance in a quarterfinal football game. They defeated favorites McIntosh and Wadley in the first two rounds. The Tigers overcame a 14-0 half time deficit to beat Wadley 16-14 in the second round, before succumbing to Sweet Water in the quarterfinals, finishing the season with an 8-4 record.

It was also Sunshine’s first appearance in the playoffs since 1999. They had not gone beyond the second round before this year. &8220;Our coaches have continually prepared our boys to get them ready to play,&8221; Watford said, who constantly preaches &8216;a team concept’.

Watford, who has coached for over forty years including basketball and baseball, started Sunshine’s football program in 1972. He has been at the helm ever since.

The Tigers success this year comes out of one of the toughest regions in 1A. All four of the playoff qualifiers in the region made it to the second round, including A.L. Johnson, South Lamar, and Sweet Water, who would become the 1A state champs.

Coach Watford only has to replace his two starting running backs next season, including a total of eight seniors. Valuable experience has been gain by the team that will compete in 2007.