After six seasons as head football coach at South Stokes Jonathan Frasher announced to his players Monday morning he’s stepping down.
“I think it’s time for the program to move in a different direction. It’s a sad day; I have a lot of mixed emotions, but I wanted you guys to hear it from me first. I’d like nothing more than to pick up the paper next year and see you winning games. I wish you the very best,” the coach said.
He went on to thank the athletes for their hard work and dedication to the program.
“You know nothing replaces hard work. You can’t be lazy and be successful. You have a plethora of resources and I’ll help you achieve your goals in any way I can,” he said. “It’s been a great six years. I think we’ve made some memories a lot of you will never forget. I believe the program is heading in the right direction and I think we’ve left it better than we found it.”
Frasher came to South Stokes in 2010 and by the following season led the Sauras to their first playoff win in school history. During his tenure, six of his athletes went on to play at the collegiate level.
“It’s awesome to see a kid grow and mature over the course of a few years and then have the opportunity to live their dream. That’s special,” Frasher said.
As with any program, along with noted success they faced their share of struggles. While the JV team finished with three wins this season, varsity went 0-11.
“It takes a toll on you. You feel like you’re trying every which way to get success because you want it so bad for the kids. Your meetings are longer, you work harder, watch more film. You try anything to get an edge,” Frasher said.
Still, the decision to move on for the coach wasn’t an easy one.
“This is a great school. People just care about each other here and you get a sense of family. You won’t find a better place to teach,” he said.
The coach was also quick to thank those who’ve supported the Saura football program over the years.
“I’m appreciative to the principals and athletics directors and all of my coaches. Many of them have been here since day one and that’s pretty neat. Rick Rutledge, Sonny Branch, Jay Anderson, these film guys have helped so much. The staff here at South, they’ve been great,” Frasher added.
There were others people behind the scenes, such as Sandee and Charlie Johnston, who had a vision to start the Grid Iron Club.
“I think that took us to the next level as a football program,” Frasher said. “Lynn Covington, Kevin Hennelly, Mark Moore are others who’ve had big roles. It takes a lot of people to have a successful program because there’s so many moving parts. It’s about teamwork and that’s what the sport is all about.”
As Frasher reflected on past seasons he believes success isn’t measured in wins and losses.
“That’s not what I’m taking with me. I’ll take with me the relationships made. Hopefully we’ve impacted these kids and in turn they’ll go out and impact others,” he said. “Obviously, I hope they always continue to improve and I think they’re headed in that direction. I wish them nothing but the best because I want success for these kids.”
Athletic director, Mitch Adams believes the spark Frasher ignited will continue on.
“He brought a lot of excitement. When he came the program was in bad shape and within two years we had one of the best seasons we’d ever had. He’s done a lot and he’s probably one of the most organized and knowledgeable coaches I’ve ever been around. He’s done an outstanding job here and he’s going to be missed.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.