Beauregard Ushers in New Era with Jones
BY WIL CREWS
A culture change is happening within Beauregard High School’s football program. First-year Hornets head coach Justin Jones is committed to it.
“We’re going to be good sooner or later,” Jones said on Tuesday at Media Days. “We look at this as a climb. We want to try to demand that we make ourselves better daily. We live by a blueprint that says go hard, do right, expect to win … and it has to be in that order. If you’re not going hard and you’re not trying to do right daily, then how in the world can you expect to win.”
Jones was hired in mid-April of this year after spending last season as Prattville High School’s defensive coordinator. Since then, he said that Beauregard has seen an abundant turnout of new faces who want to be a part of the program’s fresh start.
The Hornet football program has seen sharp decline since its state championship days in 2016, missing the playoffs each of the previous two years.
Jones has a repertoire of turning programs around, however. Before Jones arrived at New Brockton High School (his most recent head coaching gig before Beauregard) in 2014, the Gamecocks had missed the playoffs two out of five years, and failed to make it past the first round in the other three. New Brockton reached the playoffs all five years under Jones, making it as far as the second round in 2016. Prior to that, he had similar results at Cordova High School.
“You know you pick up things from each place,” Jones said. “And for us, I think you have to that foundation in place. The coaches, the custodians, the principals, the administration, everybody has to be on board with what the blueprint is, because everybody has a hand in the success and how quickly that comes to pass.”
Looking at this season, Jones said Beauregard boast a 80-plus man roster, however, the team is relatively young team with only nine seniors.
One of those seniors, senior wide receiver CJ Reese, accompanied Jones on Media Days and talked about how his new coach is installing the right mentality in the program.
“It’s been really amazing for someone to come in here and push us every day and fully believe we can stick to the blueprint,” he said. “The only way to go is up, so as long as we stick to the blueprint, we will do better.”
Jones said he expects big things from Reese in 2021 – both on the field and off.
“He represents the culture change that’s been going on,” Jones said. “His daily inspiration of his teammates and his buy-in has been second to none. We look forward to him having a big year for us, getting the ball in his hands and him having a big impact in that way.”
Jones said he expects to meet some difficulties early in the season, but that the energy he’s seen from the players in preparation will eventually carry over onto the field.
“You can feel it every day – the excitement we have,” he said. “We have a good nucleus in place; We have a system in place. It’s our job as a staff to lay that foundation that’s going to get us back to the success that the community deserves, and these kids deserve as well. We want to honor our football family, our family that our last name represents and we want to honor the Beauregard family as well.”
Beauregard Hornet Schedule:
8/20 – Valley
8/27 – Booker T Wash
9/3 – @ Talladega
9/10 – Holtville
9/17 – @ Central Clay
9/24 – Russell
10/1 – Tallassee
10/8 – @Sylacauga
10/15 – Elmore
10/29 – @Holt