2023 STANLY COUNTY FOOTBALL PREVIEW: New coach leads South Stanly

Published 4:59 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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A former Rebel Bull standout who signed to play Div. I football has returned to guide South Stanly this season.

Terry Shankle, a former Shrine Bowl selection and All-American for South who played for UNC-Chapel Hill from 2010-13, is the 17th coach in the program’s 62nd year of existence.

South has not had a winning season since 2018 when previous coach Ryan Ochier led the Bulls to an 8-5 record. He then went 9-27 over the next four seasons.

1) You are the 17th coach in the history of South Stanly football and the fourth coach in the last 12 seasons. Since 2012, when the Bulls were 9-4 overall, no South football team for a full 10 or 11-game season has had a winning record. What will it take to build a winning program at South Stanly for you and the staff?

To build a winning program we know it starts from the top down. We’ve got a good staff in place with a lot of football knowledge. Those guys are going to be critical to our team’s success in building trust with our guys, teaching them, helping them learn and creating a winning mindset.

If we can get players to buy-in to the idea of being a family and the things we are trying to teach them, I believe we will be successful. Our guys will have to be disciplined, determined and dedicated. We have to be committed to greatness and nothing less.

2) Who are the returning starters on whom the team will rely the most?

We have a good core group returning at some valuable positions and we expect to see a lot of leadership out of those guys.
Some of our critical returning players are Drew Gaddy, Quay Liles, Micah Davis, Kieth Murphy and Aiden Wilson.

3) Who are the promising newcomers on the team who will make an immediate impact?

Some of our promising newcomers that we expect to make an immediate impact are Carter Callicut, I’Key Holt and Josiah Holt. We’ve got a lot of young talent and we are very excited about that.

4) Dating back to last season, the Bulls have lost 11 games in a row, including two forfeits in the final two weeks of the season. What are your expectations for how South will fare this season and what will it take to fulfill those expectations?

Our focus is what we have in front of us right now and building a foundation for the future of South Stanly Football. We don’t focus on the past, and we will not be a team who lets our past define us.

We expect our players to compete every single time we touch the field. We will be a competitive team. These guys have worked hard all summer and I expect to see that hard work pay off for us.

To be as successful as I think we can be, we will have to be disciplined, smart and focus on the main goal. We can’t be distracted from that.

5) What are the goals you have for your players beyond wins and losses?

The most important thing is for these guys to know and understand that we are all a part of a family, which is South Stanly Football.

We also want to focus on development. The goal is for our players to continue to learn and grow and never be satisfied.

Also, if players are serious about playing at the next level, we want to work hard to support that and help provide those opportunities for them.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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