MONTICELLO, Fla. (WTXL) — The Jefferson County football program is historically one of the most successful in the state of Florida. The Tigers have six state titles to their name, the last coming in 2011. In the decade since, the Tigers have had over a half a dozen coaches, and that lack of consistency is something Jefferson County alum, and 2011 state champion, Lenorris Footman is looking to change, and in turn, steer this program back to the top.
"I find myself sitting and reminiscing back to the days when I was walking this same facility as a player," he said. "Truly, truly grateful and humbled, and just trying to lead these guys down the right path."
It's a path Footman knows all too well. He's a Jefferson County grad, and is a Tiger through and through.
"I might have the most pride out of anybody in Monticello," he laughed. "Our slogan is actually believe you can win and that comes from me growing up in this same community."
A community he understands.
"Once the kids can look at someone who came from their environment who beat the odds that they're facing per say, it makes it a lot easier to believe in themselves."
Footman led the Tigers to the 2011 Class 1A state championship. He went on to play at Alcorn State. Now he's back at his Alma mater as head coach, and looking to establish consistency for a program that craves it.
"Once the kids see that I'm consistent, they see I'm buying in, they see I'm showing up everyday for them, they have no choice but to follow the lead."
A lead role that's been easy to follow.
"It hits a little different when you can see your coach at the grocery store," he said. "Now you have a coach that's in the community where it's a different kind of accountability for them. I believe they're handling it real well."
Accountability coach is teaching beyond football.
"Eventually you have to put the football down and you have to be a law abiding citizen, a good husband, and a good father."
It's those traits that'll get this program back to where it's supposed to be.
"They want to win, they want to put the work in and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get that rightful place at the top."
Like they've been so many times before.