New sheriff in town at ECHS

Published 7:12 am Wednesday, April 13, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
After the retirement of Frankie Bell, longtime defensive coordinator at Escambia County High School, new head coach Ted Darby had the unenviable task of finding a suitable replacement.
Two weeks ago, he found the right man.
Jerome Antone, a native of Montgomery, was hired at the March 24 meeting of the Escambia County School Board to replace Bell as defensive coordinator for the Blue Devils. He is slated to teach physical education at the high school.
Antone said he has several reasons for taking the job.
"Coach Darby gave me a call right after he got the job," Antone said. "He told me some of the things he was planning on doing here and I felt I'd be a good fit. It was an attractive situation for me."
Antone graduated high school from St. Jude Catholic School in Montgomery, where he earned a football scholarship to the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md. He has coached at Greenville High School, where he was an assistant on their 1994 state championship football team. Coach Antone is currently at Booker T. Washington High School in Tuskegee where he works as an administrative assistant in charge of discipline.
Discipline is the key to both the way Antone carries himself, and his hiring for the job here in Atmore.
"He's a disciplinarian," Darby said. "One of the main things we need is discipline here. I want my kids to do the right thing all the time, and I expect the same from my coaches."
Antone said he had gained his disciplined outlook on life from his childhood.
"It's one of my pet peeves," Antone said. "A lot of it comes from my schooling. I came up in the days when you did something wrong you paid for it. My parents were disciplined people also, and they were good people. A lot of it came from that. To accomplish anything you have to be disciplined."
While Antone will be working at Booker T. Washington until May 27, in the meantime he is making plans to build the Escambia County football program back to dominance.
"One of the main needs is camaraderie," Antone said. "Of course they need discipline, that's where I'll start. Back in the day, Atmore had that winning tradition, and we want to bring it back, but to start we have to teach them (the players) how to do the right things, and teach them how to win. If we can build a good football program it will be good for everything because it will be something the players want to be involved in. We're coming in to build a program."

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