Webber comes home, begins rebuilding Quitman HS athletic program

By Larry Tucker
Posted 12/31/69

There are those who wondered why Quitman graduate Shane Webber left a great job in a successful athletic program to take over a football program that has been 1-68 over the last seven years.

The …

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Webber comes home, begins rebuilding Quitman HS athletic program


There are those who wondered why Quitman graduate Shane Webber left a great job in a successful athletic program to take over a football program that has been 1-68 over the last seven years.

The choice was easy for Quitman’s new athletic director Shane Webber.

“A lot of coaches talk about getting their dream job. This really is my dream job. To be able to come back to my hometown and lead this athletic program really is a dream come true for me,” Webber said. “Since the first day when I got here, we have worked hard to improve the program and get as many kids out for athletics, boys and girls, as we can. The response to summer workouts has been great. We have about 130 kids, boys and girls, coming out trying to get better.”

Webber recruited from the halls of QHS to try to build the numbers in the boy’s program.

“We probably got 15 kids out of the hallway. When the word got out we were looking we had another seven or eight show up giving us about 22 or 23 kids show up for workouts in the spring,” Webber said. “As far as schedule changes into athletics, we had 15 come out to start working with us and get ready for next year.”

The new A.D. felt good about the girl’s program.

“The girl’s numbers were always good. Volleyball numbers are good and it helped that the Lady Bulldog basketball team made the playoffs this past year,” Webber added. 

Webber is pleased with the athletes who have come out.

“It has been great to get the numbers out. There are some real good athletes who have come out. There have been a lot of quality kids walking the halls for whatever reasons, and we are glad to have them back in the program,” Webber noted. “With the new weight room coming in, we have preached coming in after school and getting a lot of reps. We went from having no one stay after school to averaging 20 to 22, and then this summer we are having around 130 to 135 kids. We are averaging about 70 boys and 65 girls this summer.”

Webber talked about college recruiters. “The way it is today, college recruiters are looking for well-rounded kids, not just one sport athletes. They want the quarterback who also makes the winning free throw n a basketball game. They want kids who are not only athletes but are active in FFA, one-act play and band,” Webber advised. “They want kids who do as much as they can. The more well-rounded a kid is, those recruiters are attracted to those kids.”

Webber wants to be able to get those higher numbers to fill sub-varsity squads. 

“What we have been preaching is having the numbers so we can have a JV football team, three volleyball teams, three basketball teams, JV baseball and basketball teams and a full track team,” Webber said. “I was proud this spring when we had the biggest track team we have had in years.”

The transition to the new coaching staff has been smooth.

“The transition from Coach Oakes (Brian) to me has been easy because one, they bought in to the program; two, they are working their tails off; three, they are here; and four, their mentality is right where it needs to be and we are getting better every day,” Webber explained. 

The student-athletes are excited at the prospects. “I see the excitement, but that happens sometimes with change. I hope it continues to be that way. I have kids call me when they are not going to be here and that’s a big plus for me. There are still some kids I hope make their way up here to become a part of the program,” Webber said. 

Some students have to work to help out their family, and that has to be taken into consideration, he noted.

Webber supports all athletics. “I want the girls to know I care about their programs. I want all of us to feel proud of each sport. We want to make our school better, not just athletics, but in everything. If we can do that, we can make our whole community better,” Webber said. “Again this is my dream job. I have dreamed about this a long time. This is something I have put 20-plus years into as a coach. It has never mattered where I’m at or who I am with, Quitman is my home. It’s where my heart is, so for me coming home and communicating with the kids is important. I know their aunts and uncles, their moms and dads, their grandparents and I played ball with some of their relatives. When we as coaches help the kids, we are helping the community. We want to make the kids better and hopefully make Quitman better.”

Summer workouts continue daily at the weight room and the practice facility. The Bulldog Football Camp for 7th, 8th and incoming 9th graders will be July 26 ,27 and 28. The cost is $25 per camper. Topics to be covered will be the fundamentals of the Quitman football program, slot T offense, 3-3 defense, individual offensive and defensive positions, agility drills, weight room lifts, conditioning and flexibility.  

Two-a-day workouts will be different this year with high school workouts beginning Aug. 2. The workouts will begin at 5 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. The Blue-White scrimmage will be Saturday, Aug. 7 and the first scrimmage at Ore City set for Aug. 13. The Bulldogs’ second scrimmage is at Quinlan Boles Aug. 19 and the season opens at Cumby Aug. 27.