By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
The local high school football coaching carousel made another turn Tuesday, with a well-known name taking the reigns at Southwood.
Considering Mike Green’s track record of turning struggling programs into playoff entries, the Cowboys have renewed optimism after a spirited team meeting with their new coach.
“I told them, ‘Cowboys up!’ and they loved it,” said Green. “I’m very enthusiastic after meeting the young men today. They were all excited, and that’s a very good thing.”
Green was offensive coordinator at Woodlawn High School last season. He has previously been head coach at Woodlawn, Huntington and Mansfield and among other stops, was an assistant at North DeSoto.
Notably, in 13 seasons as a head coach, he’s taken over winless teams and produced playoff appearances. Mansfield was 0-10 before he arrived and made six playoff trips in seven seasons. His Woodlawn teams quickly climbed from cellar-dwellers to playoff participants in two straight seasons.
“I pride myself in getting struggling programs back on the winning track,” said Green. “Hopefully with a lot of hard work, we can do that at Southwood.”
Green fills the vacancy created with the departure of Jesse Esters, whose team won its first two games in 2022 but was forced to forfeit those contests and went winless the rest of the season. He led the Cowboys for the past three seasons, and steadily increased the roster size and the strength program.
“Coach Esters and the staff were doing some good things,” said Green, “and I hope I can add some enthusiasm and hard work, and it equates to some victories over on Walker Road.”
Last season’s Cowboys had 32 juniors so Green could have a big senior class.
The Cowboys were 0-10 in 2021, also incurring a forfeit that season, after COVID protocols left Southwood unable to have enough players for a game against Captain Shreve.
Green said he’s already making calls to build the staff and establish relationships with feeder schools.
“My plan is to get a staff assembled that can be visible on campus, because that translates to a lot of good things. My vision is to work hard, and keep the kids in our district that are supposed to come to Southwood in our school. We have some good-looking young athletes there already. We might be missing some kids who are going other places right now, and we plan to change that.”
Decisions on when to start summer workouts and “getting those kids informed on what we’re going to be doing at Southwood are my top priorities,” said Green. “We’re going to chase some of those kids who may be leaving, who could possibly come back and be part of something exciting here at Southwood.
“I’m very thankful to the administration at Southwood, and I’m very grateful to the administration at Woodlawn, and to coach (Thedrick) Harris, who’s the head coach at Woodlawn, who have brought me to this opportunity.”
There’s been some significant head coaching turnover during the offseason among local schools. Six of 19 football programs in Caddo and Bossier parishes have changed coaches.
Booker T. Washington, Bossier, Green Oaks, Magnolia School of Excellence, North Caddo and Southwood will all have new leadership entering the 2023 season.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org