Fair-weather Stevens fans need a little lesson in class

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nearly 10 years after Alonzo Stevens was hired as Vicksburg High football coach, the same group that led the charge for him to guide the Gators is again leading a charge — but for for his ouster.

A petition has been circulated demanding the coach be fired at the end of the year — a memorable year for all the wrong reasons.

Sean P. Murphy is Web editor. He can be reached at smurphy@vicksburgpost.com.

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The Gators entered Friday night’s game against Warren Central with an 0-9 record before slogging their way to a double-overtime victory over their most fiercest rivals. Whether it will be enough to silence the drumbeat for a new coach is unknown.

Vicksburg will go into its final game against one-loss Clinton as a heavy underdog and realistically will end the season at 1-10.

The down year was not unexpected. The team lost 38 seniors from last year’s playoff team. The current starters had little or no varsity football experience. Nearly every position was filled with the professional equivalent of rookies.

Bear Bryant could have been the head coach of this year’s team and wins would be few, and that is not an indictment on the future talent of the players — just the lack of experience playing against bigger, faster and better competition.

This season also coincides with a small resurgence of the crosstown Vikings, who are still alive for their first playoff appearance after a three-year absence. When WC was missing the playoffs and struggling for wins and the Gators were winning and making the playoffs, few were enraged with Stevens’ performance. With WC now winning, complaints are coming out of the woodwork.

As is the case with all coaches in this district, Stevens will sit down with administrators at the end of the season to judge and rate his performance. A decision to remove him may happen, or he will be allowed to stay. He may even have an idea to tell the same “fans” who were with him in the wins and against him now where to put their petition.

But he won’t do that.

Stevens, most of all, is a good man. He loves Vicksburg High. He conducts himself with class. He’s staunchly religious. He bleeds green.

Anyone who thinks he is not hurting inside is foolish.

Whatever the result is regarding the program, Stevens will handle it with class — as he does virtually everything.

Such cannot be said for the group that nearly begged for him to be hired and now is leading the charge for his ouster.