When North Stokes’ Trey Wiggins stepped into his permanent position as athletic director at the end of March, the school was left with one last nagging question: who would be the school’s new football coach?
But, the school soon found a replacement for Jason Lippard, who left North Stokes at the end of February to coach football at Brevard High School. Now North Forsyth’s offensive line coach Jason Smith will lead the Vikings this upcoming season.
Smith has hit the ground running and is already working with the Vikings football team after school several afternoons a week, even though he was not scheduled to start his position until the fall. Smith said he believes it is better to get a jump on the season.
“Being here is important to me,” he said. “I want to build relationships with the kids.”
Smith said that his team has a lot of work ahead of them, but they have a lot of potential. Building a successful football team means starting with the fundamentals and understanding the game inside and out. It’s all about building a foundation that will allow the team to thrive.
“I’m going to be teaching kids the game of football so they be successful and we can be successful as a team,” Smith said.
Smith said it is important for him to show up and help his players in practice ahead of the season.
“When the kids see you working hard, they will work hard for you,” he said.
Last year the Vikings had an overall record of 4-8 in the regular season, but they could not come up with a win in the conference.
In order for the Vikings to have success on the field this season, Smith said it’s important to shake off the team’s past record. He said he wants to instill in his players mental and physical toughness.
“We are going to go after it,” Smith said. “They are going to be tough.”
Smith said that the 20 players that have been practicing in recent weeks are working hard and want to have a good season.
“I’m real impressed so far,” he said. “They want to get better.”
North Stokes Principal Nathan Rasey said he has confidence in Smith and believes that he will help build a successful football program.
“We want to be in every ball game and be competitive,” Rasey said.
Smith is excited to become a part of the North Stokes family.
“I’m happy to be here,” Smith said. “I really think that North Stokes is a hidden gem.”
Smith will begin his position as head football coach this fall. He will also be a strength and conditioning teacher at North Stokes. For the past four years, Smith has worked at North Forsyth High School as an assistant coach and special education teacher.