Savannah's new coach excited about season
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
When Mark Cole stepped down at Savannah at the end of last season the program didn’t look far to find its next head coach. Defensive Coordinator Chad Smith has stepped in and is ready to continue the Savages strong run of success.
The last two seasons Savannah has made the playoffs, won the Midland Empire conference and earned some milestone wins along the way. In 2011 the Savages were just one defensive stop from heading to St. Louis for the Class 4 state title game. Savannah held a late 24-21 lead over eventual champion Webb City but the Cardinals put together a final drive to win 28-24 in the closing seconds of the semifinal game.
Smith has been a part of the Savannah program the last five years after coming over from a very successful St. Joseph Benton staff. He has been coaching football for 10 years and is now ready and excited to be taking the challenge of being a first-time head coach.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do eventually,” Smith said. “I felt that I was ready. I’ve spent a lot of time and invested a lot of time in the kids that we’ve had throughout the years. I feel we are all on the same page and I’m excited about leading this team to what we are capable of doing.”
Last year the Savages won playoff games at Platte County and Harrisonville and took out a very talented Liberty North team. Smith said the Savannah program has really taken some big steps the last few years and the players and staff are very optimistic about what is coming next.
“The kids absolutely excite me,” Smith said. “We’ve got hard working kids. We’ve got kids that all want to win and do whatever it takes to win. We’ve got a good tradition going here and I’m excited about the kids we have here.”
Smith said he thinks his team has learned a lot with the success of the last two seasons.
“We’ve learned first of all by that last game that you have to play four solid quarters,” Smith said. “It was fun. It’s kind of been a goal for those kids most of their lives. They always said when they were little and playing as young bantam league players if there’s a team that’s going to make it, it was going to be that class and there are more beyond that.
“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned we have to finish ballgames and we’ve learned what it’s like to get there so we are a little ahead now.”
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