MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Park Crossing Thunderbirds are entering 2020 with a new mindset and a new leader. Former Loachapoka head coach LC Cole returns to Montgomery to take over the program and hopefully help the bird take flight.
“It’s been great. I’ve kinda been on the road a little bit to all different places but it always feels good to come back home to where you kinda started at,” said Cole about the return.
Cole will see his first action as the Thunderbirds’ head coach in just three weeks at Dothan High.
“Well, you know the biggest goal is to try to take it one game at a time, but the ultimate goal is to do better than they did last year,” he said.
2019 saw a season where the team rallied to a 5-8 finish, coming up just a few games short of a state title. But, the team does return a lot of talent, including senior safety Jaylin Wheeler, who says the team is embracing the changes that 2020 brings.
“It’s a totally different, changed new coach. People are playing new positions, and last year we had a long season,” said Wheeler. “We fell short initially, but I feel like we’re going to finish strong. We have the same team from last year, with very good chemistry. We’re working as a team to get to the championship.”
Although it’s his first year with the Thunderbirds, it’s not Cole’s first rodeo. He brings more than two decades of head coaching experience, both at the high school and collegiate level, which is something the players are appreciating.
“He’s very good, different. He teaches us more, we learn more college experience, so we can get ready for the next level,”said Wheeler.
“We’re feeling each other out, and I think it’s happening pretty fast, so that’s the good thing about it,” added Cole about building relationships with the players. “The guys are buying in to what we’re trying to install here and their attitudes are are great, so when you got those things, you got a chance.”
Kickoff between Park Crossing and Dothan High is set for Aug. 21 in the Wiregrass.