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Building for the future

South Boston News / August 14, 2017
Grayson Throckmorton held court Thursday afternoon with an attentive group of Comet football players at the Tuck-Dillard Stadium.

Throckmorton demonstrated a no-nonsense style, stressing the importance of satisfactory academic work and a team-first, disciplined structure for Comet football. Both varsity and jayvee players attended the program.

Throckmorton explained the top three general goals of the Comet program.

The no. 1 goal is “to graduate all players on time, and prepare them for life after high school,” said Throckmorton.

This involves ‘character lessons, teaching right from wrong, so it’s more than the Xs and Os of football. It’s teaching them the holistic approach, how to be better football players, better people, right on down the line,” Throckmorton said.

The no. 2 goal is to win football games and have success.

“Some people say that’s no. 1. I think if you do our no. 1 goal right, two kind of follows along with it,” said Throckmorton.

The third overall goal is to “make a positive impact on our school, with our community, and within our state,” said Throckmorton.

Throckmorton has a partly new staff and is trying to continue to rebuild the brand on Comet football.

Throckmorton, in his first year as the Comet head coach, is also adapting a new code of conduct for the program, adapted along general lines from the U.S. Army and other branches of the armed services.

“My job is to relate football to real life,” said Throckmorton, who earlier held a Football is Life clinic for two days before the start of fall drills.

“That doesn’t mean football is the only thing. That means football prepares you for all the adversity you going to have to face in life and how to perservere and find an answer to all the problems,” said Throckmorton.

Throckmorton said the players are buying into this approach and working harder than they ever have.

Halifax County High School is going through character lessons and trying to pay attention to smaller details, like keeping the locker rooms straight and organized, Throckmorton said.

Proper behavior is being stressed; along with academic issues the players have to pay attention to while they are in the program. There’s also a monitoring and education process involved, as it is appropriate, Throckmorton said.

“We also talked about the grade monitoring policy I use, and the tutoring (process) they have to go through in order to do it properly,” he said.

The student-athletes were pressed on the consequences of failing grades and the procedures to turn those negatives around.

Throckmorton also plans to help with education-related requirements students need in order to get into college, if that’s the career path they desire.

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