Lovejoy Leopards Football Aspire to Practice on Thanksgiving
This year, there will be 65 athletes on the Lovejoy Leopards varsity football team (45 on junior
varsity). Freshman arrived for practice a week before the rest of the team started practicing
August 13. Head Coach, Todd Ford said during this time they begin instilling the culture of the
program with the incoming freshman.
Athletes do not have to try out to be on the team. Coach Ford said, “We have kids who have been
playing as young as they could and those who never played before.” Training begins when the
students are in middle school. Coach Ford said they spend most of the month of May working
with the incoming freshman on details that will help them transition to high school.
The goal of this year, said Coach Ford, is to “Be practicing on Thanksgiving!” Last year,
Lovejoy was the Bi-District Champion, this year they aspire to win district. Along with these
goals, they will continue to elevate the expectations of the program.
Regarding how students benefit from being a member of the Lovejoy Leopards football team,
Coach Ford said, “Nothing, in my opinion, prepares a young man for real life than the game of
football. Our job as staff is to grow young men into men by the time they leave us. Life lessons
that the game provides are so valuable to the development of our kids.”
Coach Ford has been a football coach for 22 years and is starting his third year at Lovejoy High.
Additional coaches are Associate HC/Offensive Coordinator, Clayton George; Defensive
Coordinator, Zack Smith; Special Teams Coordinator, Tyler Wicke and Assistant Coaches
Austin Coachman, Chip Garber, Tim Denton, Dustin Gunter, Vince Hernandez, Cole Kiefer,
Casey Jones and Dillon O’Bryant.