ORDER THE PRINT VERSION AT
WEST FORS YTH (N.C.) HIGH SCHOOL
WHERE WOULD YOU GO IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE football? That’s one of West Forsyth coach Adrian Snow’s go-to questions for players going
through the recruiting process. While the players might not
have an immediate answer, they do have their coach by their
side to help make one of the most difficult choices of their
A 20-plus-year coaching veteran, Snow has piled his
players into a van and hit the road on recruiting trips for
years. One year, he drove recruits from Clemmons, N.C., to
Gainesville, Fla., over to Tallahassee and then to Knoxville,
Tenn. – in two days.
“We’ll get them where they need to get,” Snow said.
“Anything to help them. That’s the bottom line. At the end of
the day, you want to make sure the kids get to see what they
Now heading into his eighth season at West Forsyth, Snow
was on the road again this spring, giving up a Saturday to
be by a player’s side on a local recruiting trip. It’s something
he’s tried to do throughout his coaching career, and, with the
abundance of talent that’s come through West Forsyth, he’s
had plenty of opportunities to help with the process.
“You make sure to give them guidance of what’s going on,”
Snow said. “I’ve been through the process a lot and have had
a lot of good ones. At least I can let them know how the dog
Sometimes he provides insight about a certain coach.
Sometimes he just goes along to provide the transportation.
But he’s much more than just a ride. In fact, to some, Snow’s
a spiritual adviser with a goal of making young men trust
someone other than themselves.
“That is kind of tough in this day and age,” Snow noted.
“We’ve got an iPhone, iPad and a lot ‘i’ stuff, which really
makes it about them sometimes. Our culture teaches them
that ‘I have to get what I need to get now.’ Sometimes that
makes it tough for them to really work for it. So we try to
turn them into well-rounded individuals and well-rounded
athletes, which in turn will help our football program, our
WANDO (S.C.) HIGH SCHOOL
COACH JIMMY NOONAN HAD LESS TO WORK with than most coaches when he was hired as head football coach at Wando High School in 2009. It took him awhile, but he did something about it.
This season will be the first that Wando has had a middle-
school feeder system, the product of a six-year effort by
Noonan and the community.
“It’s very hard to get a ninth-grader interested (in football).
It’s hot. It’s hard. It’s tough,” Noonan said. “So if we’re not
getting them interested in the sport and getting it into their
blood system so-to-speak as middle school athletes, then we
The process wasn’t easy. The Mount Pleasant community
was not as football-crazed as others in the Palmetto State. But
Noonan is changing that perception. He convinced the powers-
that-be of the importance of football and sparked programs at
three area middle schools. The district zone board is helping
supplement the coaches and initial equipment costs, which
Noonan estimates is around $30,000 per team. Noonan,
his assistants and players are tasked with raising the money
required to fund the program going forward.
“It’s going to be new and I know that I’ll learn along the way,”
Noonan told FNF Magazine. “It’s a pivotal time for our youth
and our future players. We’re missing out on so many kids.”
This spring, Noonan was working on his informational pam-
phlet on the new middle school programs that will be distrib-
uted to parents and interested seventh- and eighth-graders.
In addition to dates and times, Noonan wanted to include his
philosophy on how the new players will be coached, as well as
something he believes is the most important.
“More so than anything else, they’re going to need to hear
why football is important. Why it’s different, why it challenges
you in more ways than any other sport,” Noonan said. “It provides father figures for so many kids that don’t have them.
It’s a catalyst for community pride, and our middle schools
haven’t had that. Our middle-school principals are embracing
this as an opportunity to motivate their young men, not only
academically, but also for discipline. Good coaches, they
have the immediate attention of these kids and have the
opportunity to teach them values, character and life lessons
Adrian Snow has poured his heart and soul into the West Forsyth Football.
Jimmy Noonan is methodically building the Wando football program.
BY DAVID PURDUM