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January 17, 2013
Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, VA, wasted no time in finding a new Head Football Coach. In filling the shoes of Darnell Moore, one of the most successful coaches in the Eastern Region, the Marlins turned to someone that spent the past five years on his staff in tabbing Jon White the new man in charge.
The Bayside job was one with much intrigue and for good reason. In recent years, the school has produced such All-State and even All-American level standouts as Florida State QB E.J. Manuel, UVA defensive backs Demetrious Nicholson and Anthony Cooper, Cavaliers linebacker Henry Coley and soon to be UVA running back Taquan 'Smoke' Mizzell.
Throw in the fact they have defensive back Quin Blanding, one of the nation's top recruits in the Class of 2014, returning and it was no surprise that there were approximately 40 applicants for the position.
"I first have to thank Coach Moore for bringing me on his staff and give him all the credit for what he's done with this program. Coaching under him has been a true blessing. Managing the knowledge that he can give you is paramount and he knows all the intricacies of the game," White told VirginiaPreps.com.
"Being back home means everything to me. I know what the community needs and know what I want to give to them. What they gave me and what I got from it was special, and I know there will be a lot of kids that I've come across and will come across that are a lot like me. Avenues of life can be opened up through this game and I want to help them get to those avenues."
White, 31, was an All-District linebacker for the Marlins who graduated in 2000. He went on to play College Football at Hampton University and then got into coaching, first serving as an assistant at Cox High School, also in Virginia Beach.
Over the past 12 seasons under Moore, Bayside went 73-57, highlighted by their thrilling 42-40 triumph over Oscar Smith in the 2010 Eastern Region Championship. In addition to that regional crown and a pair of Beach District titles at Bayside, Moore put together a career record of 176-96-4 at the High School ranks over a 26-year span, which included state titles in 1989 and 1991 at Wilson High in Portsmouth.
Playing in a district that features Ocean Lakes, the Group AAA Division 6 State Runner-up a season ago, and Salem, which has made it to the regional title game three times since 2006, White knows the Marlins have their work cut out for them as they have to replace Mizzell and record-setting QB Deion Stitt in the offensive backfield.
White plans to have two major points of emphasis when he gathers the team as they look to build on having reached the playoffs each of the past four years and gear up for the 2013 campaign that will begin in August.
"It's going to sound cliche, but the biggest things I'm going to stress are discipline and academics," White noted.
"I fully understand that college isn't for everybody, but everybody can learn. That means even if you don't go to college, you can at least make sure that you're going out in the real world and establishing a career, not just a series of jobs. There's a massive difference between the two. For anyone that's going to play the game, we need to make sure these guys are doing the right thing in the classroom so that they don't limit themselves with opportunities and options because of a lack of academic success."
Matthew Hatfield has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.