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  1. Well guys it’s the beginning of the new year which means off-season workouts should now be in full swing. As a former coach and athlete, this was the time of the year Rosedale was buzzing for some spring and fall football. The 5x State Champions are starting to show me they are dedicated just by their eagerness to workout individually and ask repeatedly in grades 7th - 11th about team weight lifting workouts. It’s an exciting time to be a WB Eagle. The level of enthusiasm and support as well as connections to just sit back and let things come together brick by brick is back. Stay tune as I post updates on players that are starting to gain attention statewide as prospects. The camps this summer will feature West Bolivar players for the first time in years. There’s nothing like Friday Night Lights. And there’s nothing like seeing a group of kids take ownership in reaching a high standard to carry on the tradition. Rosedale is a football town like no other!
  2. Yesterday, the local news reported that Coach Johnson retired as Head Coach of Clarksdale High after 9 seasons. Prior to accepting the Clarksdale job as Head Coach/Athletic Director, Johnson served as the Head Coach at West Bolivar for 13 seasons and won 2 State Championships leading the 5x State Champions. Job well done Coach. A class act, and one of the best teachers of this sport I’ve seen in Mississippi. Coach Johnson retires as one of the best ever. West Bolivar was fortunate to have two of the most renowned Coaches to walk the sidelines on this level. Wow. More details coming soon.
  3. 2021 season recap coming tomorrow morning. Big announcement will be made tomorrow by IRONEagle Athletics on the athletes at West Bolivar we will be training in 2022. It’s a movement.
  4. I said Hollandale will be a 1A favorite (North) not the favorite in 1A.. I can speak for West Bolivar and say they did beat two of the best programs in 2A South for State Championships #4 & #5. Taylorsville (2007) and East Marion (2011). I’ve watched small schools for years and the difference between North and South programs right now in my area is simply the athletic admin & coaching. In the Delta it’s the difference between having success or struggling due to incompetence. Just look at West Bolivar. Hasn’t been the same since Coach Henry Johnson went to Clarksdale. However, we’ve won some district titles and advance to the 3rd Round of the Playoffs twice since the departure. The issue is there’s no structure or stability. The athletic admin has not only been unethical with hiring practices but clearly neglecting of a WB sport (football). 4 different head coaches in HS and 4 different head coaches in Jr. High since 2014. Not one job opening posted on Misshsaa website for the Head Coach position to advertise statewide despite it being available multiple times since 2014. I don’t know how many people subscribed to the NFHS network but this past week there was a basketball tournament (Bolivar Co. Tourney) broadcast on the live stream. That’ll show you all there is to know about the athletic admin. Find them in the video and you’ll see exactly what I’ve been saying is the issue. People see it but simply talk behind close doors as oppose to pushing hard for the student athletes to give them the kind of support, leadership they deserve as the winningest football program in this area and one of the top programs in the state.
  5. S/O to Leflore County and Hollandale on successful seasons. I’ve always respected Charleston and honestly just can’t follow them closely as I use to with them and West Bolivar moving down to 1A and 2A. In 1A, teams play few non region games, so I have fewer opportunities to watch other teams especially since Covid. To be honest, the Delta teams as well as the North overall were overmatched this year in the State Championship games. Clarksdale was the Delta’s best chance at a State Championship and will be a contender again in the 2022- 2023 season. I believe had they gotten past Louisville in a game that came down to the last play they might’ve played for the 4A State Title. Leflore County is improving and could possibly contend for the next two years. I said earlier I thought Simmons had one of the best small schools ever after following classes 1A-3A since 2005 but I quickly started to look closely at their schedule and competition after the Biggersville game after they gave up 30 points. Going into next season, Simmons will be a favorite but the championship window is closing for them, South Delta, and McEvans. People will say Simmons won the Jr. High DVC title but I also watched their Jr. High in person. The seniors they loss this season won’t be replaced talent wise for the foreseeable future. West Bolivar lacks stability right now.. if there was a strong foundation in place in terms of leadership & coaching from 10th - 6th grade the best athletes in this division are at WB. I watched Kailo Moore, William Lloyd, Jovious Wade, and Demarrion Hayes etc come through Jr. High at WB. They were exceptional athletes but the developmental (feeder program) made them outstanding football players. There’s about 3 7th graders and 4 8th graders at WB that can play HS football talent wise in 2022. They just need stability and structure at Jr. High to develop into football players by the time they reach HS which hasn’t been put in place by the athletic administration. When I see no sense of urgency from people at the top that just proves to me that changes have to be made and changes will be made soon because the community see what I see.
  6. S/O to Hollandale Simmons and Leflore County for advancing to the North Half Championship games in Class 1A & 2A.
  7. Today was the start of a full offseason of training for IronEagle athletics. There’s a saying “ it’s not how you start but how you finish.” To the contrary, the way you start off will dictate how you finish. I could not have been more impressed this morning with the way these young players performed in the WR/DB session. They both played as freshmen although at different schools in 2021 and now are ready to perform at a high level heading into year 2. One of these kids team season ended in the playoffs last night, and they were back at it once the sun came up on the field. This is a movement. Get your popcorn ready.
  8. Good luck to Louisville in the next round..
  9. Clarksdale season ended last night against a formidable opponent in Louisville. This game went down to the final play with Louisville stopping Clarksdale on the 2 yard line on 4th down to win 16-12. Clarksdale battled back from being down 0 - 10 to take a 12-10 lead late in the game. Louisville answered back in the final minutes of the game to regain the lead 16-12. I watched for updates after not attending the game in person. If anyone was there give a recap on this battle. Clarksdale had a great season and should contend in 2022 - 2023 for a chance to win their 5th State Championship.
  10. Henry Johnson is the Dean of the Delta in High School football.. when he took over the West Bolivar program it became the best in the Delta area regardless of classification just like we were under Legendary Coach Leland Young. Coach Johnson teams beat Cleveland High, Aberdeen, Calhoun City, Bruce, Baldwyn, Cleveland Eastside, Ackerman, Eupora, Taylorsville, East Marion, Shaw, and in district most years we beat the brakes off of Hollandale and South Delta. This ain’t what I heard it’s WHAT I WITNESSED. I believe Coach Henry Johnson will have his Clarksdale team ready to compete with Louisville. They’re evenly matched teams.
  11. Clarksdale is a really good football team. I watched them against South Pontotoc. Clarksdale had some players out in the game.. so I wonder how good they would be with a full roster or if those players will return possibly this week. Either way, I saw a well coached and balanced team on offense. I believe they’ll get stronger throughout the playoffs with their running game. The playmakers on offense are pretty explosive. As for the defense, they are physical and have athletes in all positions. The LBs can run and the DBs cover well. They run two personnel groups on the DL which is impressive for a 4A team. Louisville is a really good team and after seeing Clarksdale I believe they’re probably evenly matched. I have a great deal of respect for Louisville but I just can’t speak much about them due to not having been able to watch them play. I expect it to be a physical game. You can tell Clarksdale really hits the weightroom and I expect that a team as high caliber as Louisville also has a high quality weight lifting program. Having this game in Clarksdale is huge for the Wildcats and the Delta. Should be a great one. Good luck to both teams. I’m pulling for the Clarksdale Wildcats to get the big win.
  12. IronEagle Weekly Recap: The 4A Clarksdale High Wildcats were firing on all cylinders last night. This is the team of the Delta this year. Outside of a close battle ending in their only loss to South Panola where some people are saying they outplayed the Tigers of Batesville, Clarksdale has won every game pushing their record to 9-1 after a dominating 41 - 0 win over South Pontotoc. They do it with physicality, playing hard nose and fundamentally sound football. Coach Johnson and his staff have done a great job developing this team and they definitely are a contender. The talent and chemistry of this team is what I saw for 12 seasons here at West Bolivar. Johnson is 5th all-time in wins among active Head Coaches in the State of Mississippi.
  13. The canceled season didn’t help but there’s more to it then one year. I’ve stated this often over the years the administration decisions are the main reason West Bolivar football program has been stagnant. At one point, the decisions were done intentionally and there’s people willing to admit this off record which is also part of the issue. Now with so many parents involved and them putting their support behind the people who are actually willing to work for and be there for the student athletes a change is on the horizon. I’ve started training kids and multiple parents have given me the permission to do so. I have three of the top 7th graders, four 8th graders, three 9th graders, and two sophomores that have show interest to work a full offseason with IronEagle athletics starting in November. Get your popcorn ready!
  14. Playoff Games November 5th 4A South Pontotoc (4-6) vs Clarksdale High (7-1) 2A Calhoun City (2-6) vs Northside High (8-1)
  15. Story #1: Starting in the playoffs, I’ll follow the Clarksdale High Wildcats as they attempt to win their 5th State Championship in schools history. The Wildcats are a talented and physical football team playing under the direction of Coach Henry Johnson former West Bolivar Head Coach where he won two State Championships as Head Coach and played for the 1989 State Championship under Lelandary Head Coach Leland Young. Coach Henry Johnson Wildcats are poise to compete for another State Championship as the 4A playoffs get ready to start in a few weeks. More details coming soon. Story #2: Hollandale has one of the best small school football teams I’ve ever seen since I’ve started coaching and studying football in 2005. They are on the same level as the 2A Championship teams they faced in the era of West Bolivar, Calhoun City, Baldwyn, Eupora, Bruce and East Webster. They don’t have big players across the board or even world class speed.. yet they play fundamentally sound football with physicality and strength to the whistle each and every snap. Their lead RB Rush is probably just as skilled as Kailo Moore was who everyone knows was a Dandy Dozen and one of the top recruits in the nation. I don’t know this kids name but from last night their 2nd best player #52 looked like a D1 player on defense. I believe they’ll win 1A this season. Story #3: I saw a mirror image in Hollandale of what I watched every week at West Bolivar for years between 2000-2012. I’m encouraged now more than ever that football here in the Delta can be restored by watching the likes of Clarksdale, Northside, and Hollandale in recent years. At one point, all those programs struggled to the same degree that West Bolivar is now. The moral of the story is last night I watched four WB Jr. High kids view from the sidelines the kind of opponent they have to compete with and will have to battle with in the near future. That hasn’t been done in years. Those kids we have coming up are the future and I’ll go to battle with them against everyone. This isn’t a David vs. Goliath storyline for years to come. We aren’t going to be down for much longer. This is Kong vs. Godzilla. Heavyweight vs. Heavyweight. West Bolivar will be back.. get your popcorn ready! I’m excited and motivated as ever.
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