Ralph Jackson named new West Stanly football coach

West Stanly has a new head football coach.

Former North Stanly head coach Ralph Jackson, who spent the last nine seasons coaching at Anson Senior High, was approved as a new PE teacher for West Stanly by the Stanly County Board of Education last week by a vote of 6-1. Board member Robin Whitaker voted against the motion.

Jackson was a standout running back for West Stanly, graduating in 1992, and still holds several school records.

At North Stanly, he was 25-33 and had back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2013 and 2014. His last year with the Comets, North earned the school’s first football playoff win, a 27-14 victory over Bishop McGuinness.

Jackson coached the Anson Bearcats from 2015 until last season, finishing with a 34-59 record. He was named Rocky River Conference Coach of the Year three times.

Moving into the fieldhouse the other day, he said, brought back “so many memories when I was in high school. I felt like I actually helped build this place … it was a very empowering feeling.”

Jackson said he wants to “add to what Coach (Brett) Morton did when he was here.” Morton, who has transferred to Albemarle High School to teach social studies, was 30-35 in seven seasons with the Colts. He missed two games last season because of health reasons.

“He did a great job, I respect him a lot and I’m praying for the best for Coach (Morton),” Jackson said. “I just want to be able to have those guys play hard at the beginning of the season, and we finish the season strong.”

His first priority, he added, was to meet the players, whom he will get to meet along with the community at a meet-and-greet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the school.

“I just hope the community understands that it’s going to be a learning curve, because the young men will have to get used to what my expectations are,” Jackson said. “It could very well get worse before it gets better, but the consistency and drive we will put into it, and if the guys buy in and do the things they are asked to do, the standard will be set and we’ll move forward from there.”