Michael Stringer and Luster C. Tyler II will be running the Coahoma Agricultural High School program as a unit for the 2014 season. On paper, Stringer will be the head coach, but the two plan to operate as co-head coaches as they look to build on their playoff appearance from last season.
Stringer will run the defense for Aggie (7-4, 4-1 in 2013) while Tyler will be in charge of the offense.
Stringer said two heads are better than one and he is thankful to have some with the same vision as him trying to lead the athletes in the right direction in both football and life.
“It’s a blessing and an honor to be asked to serve in the duty as the head coach,” Stringer said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I’m happy to work with the team, Coach Tyler – same coaching staff, Coach Kelby Bates and Coach (Eric) Taylor from last year. We’re looking for some great things out of the team this year and we’re ready to get to work.”
Bates will coach the secondary and linebackers while Taylor will be in charge of strength and conditioning.
Last season, Stringer was the interim head coach. However, he felt having the interim tag removed would not make a difference because it is about the kids getting the job done and the coaches putting things in place to make them successful.
Tyler expressed similar sentiments about he and Stringer both being in charge.
“It was like that last year, too, but I’m joking with him when I’m telling him that,” Tyler said. “He tells me to run the ball 20 times, I’m going to run it 20 times because he’s the boss, but we’re good enough friends where we can do it like that. The main thing is I just like the fact that he trusts me enough to trust what I do to try to put up points and he just tries to stop people.”
The defense is going to be a rough, hit in the mouth type of team with a lot of blitz coverage and packages. It depends on the situation.
Returning on defensive will be District MVP Untareo Johnson at linebacker, Antoine Gibson at defensive end, Matthew Stewart on the line, Marquez Griffin at secondary and linebacker, Quadarius Shivers at linebacker and Deangelo Bryant at defensive back, cornerback and linebacker.
“We’ve got multiple kids that can play different positions,” Stringer said. “That’s the great thing about Aggie out here. We’re going to play about 11-20 players. It’s a plus that we can get 50 kids out here. It’s just yet to be told, but everybody can’t handle our system because, like Coach Tyler said, we’re mainly focused on the mindset and the mentality of the kids because, not only do we want them to be great football players, we want them to be a great person first. Good things happen to good people.”
Stringer said they are motivated to add to what they did last season and advance past the first round of the playoffs.
The offense will be wide open, similar to the way Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning runs his offense, according to Tyler. They will be four wide, five wide, wish bone, use the tight ends, do a little bit of everything and adjust to what the defense gives them.
Samuel Brunt is the incumbent starting quarterback, but DeAngeles Allen is competing for the job. Tyler felt that would make both athletes better.
“You either got to produce or you get cut loose basically,” Tyler said. “That’s how it works.”
All of the wide receivers except for Veldeski Woods will be returning. The running backs will be Shivers, Griffin and Bryant. Griffin and Bryant will play in the slot. Johnson, Gibson and Stewart will be on the line.
Tyler’s nephew, JaCorion Tyler, transferred from Clarksdale High School to Aggie and will be at wide receiver. He said he is looking forward to coaching his nephew for the first time.
“He had to come with me so he could get some get right in him,” Tyler said. “We’ll be using him quite a bit as well.”
The date for the start of spring practice has not been determined, but Tyler said the most important thing is to make sure they have the right type of kids, who understand their roles in life and are good citizens and students first.
“The main thing for us is, physically, you can be as strong as you want to be, but until you’re mentally ready, it doesn’t matter,” Tyler said. “That’s the main thing. We have to get mentally prepared. The running part and the weightlifting is fine and dandy, but if you’re not mentally prepared, it doesn’t matter how big and strong you are and how fast you are. We’ll start with mental conditioning before we do anything.”
They also plan to play a spring game, but the time and opponent have not been determined.
Both Stringer and Tyler are optimistic about the team improving in 2014.
Stringer said it about how God wants things to be and will accept whatever He wants.
“You can put some money on it,” Stringer said. “We won’t be the same Aggie team we were last year. We’ll be much better and much stronger mentally because kids understand their roles and they know how to stay in their place. They know what to expect out of the coaches and the coaches know what to expect out of the kids. We’re just ready to hit the ground running.”
Stringer also had two slogans for the team.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” Stringer said was one of the slogans.
“The (other) slogan at Aggie is, ‘We will win,’” Stringer said.
Tyler concluded with a little bit of humor.
“The play calling will come from Coach Tyler. Coach Stringer will not call a single play this year on offense. You can put that in the books,” Tyler joked.
Josh Troy is a reporter for the Press Register and can be reached at 662-627-2201 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.