His loyalty will never be questioned.
However, there will be some who will find it endearing – a sign of affection – to try and pick at him over the fact he played baseball and football and graduated from Warner Robins High School, was once its offensive coordinator, but is now the offensive coordinator for the opposition: Northside.
Then again, truth be told, Shane Sams – not the only coach in Houston County to hold that distinction – comes from a long line of deep roots that grow where they want to.
“My mom went to Northside. My dad – a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal in his own right – went to Warner Robins. My aunt went to Northside. My cousin went to Northside, my other cousin went to Warner Robins. My family’s always been divided and to grow up and play sports in that has been something special.”
Of course having played at Warner Robins – not to mention the time he spent as a coach at Villa Rica, Chapel Hill and New Manchester High Schools – brings its advantages.
One position for instance is quarterback, the position he manned for the Demons.
“You play quarterback at Warner Robins, and it seemed like every time you play a game it’s a big game. And it always taught you you’ve got to have confidence in yourself.
“You’re going to make mistakes. Things are not going to go your way in life, but it’s going to be okay. You’ve got to keep driving through them and keep working to get better.
“And the main thing you’ve got to understand,” he continued – you can just imagine him passing this wisdom on to his Eagles, “is when you’re at the schools like a Northside, like a Warner Robins, you’re always going against elite competition. Elite players want to go to those schools.
“So now you’re able to take those quarterbacks and say, ‘One, now look, you want to go against the best. In this day and age of transfers and kids who just want to start somewhere. Hey, if you want to be the best you need to be somewhere where you’re competing against the best athletes.’
“And the second thing is through experience, if you’re going to play tough opponents, you’re going to play against some of the best coaches in the state of Georgia, in this region. You’ve got to be comfortable in yourself. You’ve got to say to yourself, hey, you’re going to make mistakes. They’re going to make you go full speed and it’s okay. You’re going to drive through it. Just make sure we build that confidence in those quarterbacks.”
Check back with Sportsmic later this week for a full preview of the 2020 Northside Eagles.
For more on Sams, check out the audio link below.