Means kicks off JEHS practice

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Fentress Means has a big job ahead of him. After being named the head football coach and athletic director at John Essex High School on July 26, he has been given the daunting task of preparing his team for its 2007 campaign.

To further exacerbate the situation, Means also faced the challenge of wrangling in players, who have been without a coach or workout regiment since the exeunt of former coach Alphus Shipman, earlier this summer. Yesterday, his group took to the field and weight room for their first practice under Means.

The resume

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Means comes to John Essex for his first stint as a head coach and athletic director from Greene County High School, where for the past seven years he has served as an assistant coach, the first year under Bradford Howard and then the remaining six under Ronnie Wesley.

While at Greene County, Means also was an assistant coach to Wesley for the school&8217;s basketball program, which saw a good bit of success during his tenure. The school won the 2005 state championship and followed it up with a final four appearance the next year. Since Means will also double as the head basketball coach at the school, he said having such experience should bode well for the program.

Prior to becoming a high school coach and teacher, Means played defensive end during his freshman year at Tuskegee University in 1986. In fall of 19987, Means transferred from Tuskegee to the University of Alabama where he received his diploma, though giving up playing football in the process.

As for his new program, Means said there is a lot to do and also a lot he wants to accomplish.