Sports in a small community is a big deal. Jacksboro is no exception.
Brian Hodnett has been a coach for eight years and became the athletic director for Jacksboro Independent School District approximately one year ago.
There are many changes Hodnett hopes to make in the coming seasons, but his main concern remains numbers.
"Our participation numbers are up, but if we have to deal with grades and discipline, it brings our level of play down."
Hodnett commented that the more players there are to compete for places in the team, the level of play increases.
Like any good coach and mentor, Hodnett is of the opinion that grades and schoolwork are the highest priority for a high school athlete.
"There is a small percentage of high school athletes that go on to play for colleges," Hodnett said. "Many times the first question asked by a recruiter is 'how are their grades.'"
College recruiters have a certain amount of scholarship money to work with. If these recruiters find an athlete that makes the grades, it is better for them.
These students can get a partial academic scholarship and partial athletic. This frees up more funds for more students.
Most of the time, if a student has trouble with grades in high school, they will have problems at the college level as well.
Off of the field, Hodnett has his players busy as well. "I have several of my players that go with me to the elementary school and read with the kids," Hodnett said. "There are many players on my team that are involved in more than just sports. I have a great group of kids to work with."
During football season, the high school coaches take turns mentoring at the junior high level.
"Our going to the lower levels to help strengthen the players abilities and educate them helps us when these kids get into the higher level of play," Hodnett said. "Their experience grows with every year, practice and game. I have high hopes for our chances in the coming seasons."
JISD has a great, state-of-the-art facility for training and work outs, and these Jacksboro athletes take complete advantage of it.
When asked about his policy to kids who may not feel athletically able, he said, "There is typically a place for every kid in some sport.Sometimes the smallest kid can be the fastest. Becoming involved in sports will usually help kids in the classsroom."
The motto of the JHS coaching staff is, "Work hard and treat people right."
"We are working to create men and women who make and impact on society," Hodnett said. "We are excited to see what's in the future and we are in a great position to represent the school and community with success."