HomeNewsNarcisse, Hawks hit ground running in first weeks together

Narcisse, Hawks hit ground running in first weeks together

The start of the 2023 high school football season is approaching, and new South Side head coach Lester Narcisse is very aware of that fact.

“We’ve been working hard,” said Narcisse, who was announced as the Hawks’ new leader on June 20. He was out of town that day with his own children at their travel tournaments, but he briefly talked to the team via a Facetime conversation.

So his first meeting with them in person was nearly three weeks later on July 10, which was the first day athletic teams could do work in returning from the TSSAA’s two-week dead period.

“That first meeting was a good one,” Narcisse said. “I took the time to let them get to know me some, tell them my story, so they could understand me and where I’m coming from.

“And then we hit the weight room and got it going.”

Since that morning, Narcisse’s time has been full of traveling back and forth between Jackson and Covington, where he was defensive coordinator for the Chargers as well as running backs coach.

And between those trips, his time in Jackson has been filled getting to know his players and putting the finishing touches on his coaching staff, most of which was assembled during the dead period.

“It’s been a lot of time to evaluating and installation,” Narcisse said. “Getting to know the guys and seeing what their skillsets are and how to best use them in what we’re planning to do to put them and the team in the best position to succeed.”

Narcisse said the guys have responded well to the situation.

“This is a great group of young men with some quality leaders,” Narcisse said. “And they’re used to things changing by now, and they’re adapting well and moving on.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t think this summer has gone the way I or any of the kids expected it to, but everything is falling into place. And everyone in that locker room is fully bought in to what we’re doing.”

Narcisse said in June he was impressed with the way none of the players had quit during the transition from when former coach Tyler Reeder resigned in May, and he’s still impressed with that.

“This is a good way to know they’re committed by the fact they’re still here and still involving themselves in everything we’re doing,” Narcisse said. “We’ve got a fundraiser going on, and we’ve actually already raised nearly $2,000 more than last year and hoping to get that number up even further before it’s over.

“I told the guys the fact that they’re still out there doing that work to help this program in the middle of everything going on just shows the kind of commitment they have for this team and to each other. We can do something with that.”

The Hawks open the season at home on Aug. 18 against Ripley followed by games at home against Jackson Central-Merry and Liberty Tech. They then have a road trip to Crockett County before getting into Region play.

“It’s coming, and we’re working hard to prepare,” Narcisse said. “We’re looking forward to it, but we’ve also got plenty of work to do until then.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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