New DHS tradition aimed at community, player interaction

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; A new coach invariably means change for any athletic program. New systems suiting the coach&8217;s style and perceived team needs are put into place. New terminology and traditions are introduced to athletes.

With some coaches, who are not only worried about building programs but also their players&8217; character, new traditions shape both on and off the field habits for athletes. Demopolis High School coach Tom Causey is one such coach.

Looking to build a program among the elite in class 5A, Causey is installing challenging traditions and systems for his team on the field. Looking to build a team of athletes with character, Causey has taken it upon himself and his coaches to build a tradition of discipline, academic excellence and character on his squad.

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Part of this tradition has come in the form of Thursday evening dinners for his players at local churches this season that has followed him from his previous coaching positions.

Causey said the event is also a way to introduce the community to his team and vice versa. He said he wants the community to be able to identify with his group &8212; a group with which he has stressed the importance of community perception both on and off the field.

The dinners are a way to build an exhibit the character Causey has focused on since his arrival. And Demopolis Quarterback Club President Kenny Freeman said he has already heard positive community feedback about the players from the three meals held thus far this year.

Freeman said the churches that have signed up to host the meals already have booked up approximately half the season. Causey said, to inform local churches of the opportunity, he asked his players where they went to church and then sent letters to inquire about interest.

Along with providing community interaction and a good meal for players the night before a game, Freeman said the dinners may also provide another added bonus for the young athletes: