After much deliberation and prayer Robert Money recently announced he was stepping down as president and varsity head coach of the West Stokes Prowlers.
“It was time. I believe Scott Cardwell is going to do a great job and will take it over and bring a lot of fresh ideas. He’s been with the program for seven years and I think he’ll run with it,” he said.
Money was part of a core group who helped form the program back in 2004.
“I had just come out of being the president of the Pfafftown Packers in Winston and thought I was out of Little League for good,” he laughed.
But after being contacted by West Stokes head coach, Jimmy Upchurch he along with a number of families began the process of building the organization.
The Prowlers program began strong running 30-35 players per team and success soon followed. In 2005 the varsity team won the Surry County Little League season championship and super bowl. That same group of players went on to capture a 2A state championship title for West Stokes in 2011.
“We found in order to have a successful high school team you have to start young. You have to get them to fall in love with the game. It’s evident because those players carried it on at West,” Money said.
This season West Stokes won the coveted 2A Western Piedmont Conference Championship. On the varsity roster of 35 kids, 18 of them were part of the Prowlers.
While Money will continue to be an integral part of Wests’ athletic programs, stepping down from the Prowlers proved to be a difficult decision.
“I hope I continued the legacy that was there when it started. I hope kids continue to have fun, learn the game, and develop that brotherhood early because when that’s developed, it continues through high school,” he said.
A love of football runs in the family. Money’s son, Austin was a West Stokes all-conference player his senior season and went on to play at the next level at Methodist University. After an injury two seasons later he was asked to join the coaching staff and work with their offense.
“I’ve always had a passion and love for the game so when my son said he wanted to try it, I was ready to go. He stuck with it from 7 to 20 years old.”
Money leaves behind a trail of accolades but said what he’ll miss most is watching young players ‘get it’.
“Last year was probably one of the most talented from top to bottom teams we’ve had. There were a couple of kids on that team that never played football before and you could see it beginning to click throughout the season,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to watch kids who lack self-confidence start to believe they can do something and trust themselves. Those are the types that’ll be our West Stokes quarterbacks and running backs. I’m going to miss the kids, but I’m thankful to have been a part of it over the years.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 36-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.