Lakeside football coach leaving for south Ga. job

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Jody Grooms is leaving Lakeside High School to take over as head football coach at Wayne County High School.

Lakeside High football coach Jody Grooms celebrates after game last season  Chronicle file
Chronicle file
Lakeside High football coach Jody Grooms celebrates after game last season

Lakeside Principal Jeff Carney confirmed Grooms' departure this morning, adding that the Wayne County Board of Education approved Grooms' hiring at its meeting Tuesday night. Wayne County is in southeast Georgia.

"He will be meeting with the players today to explain what's happening," Carney said. "We'll be starting our search for his replacement immediately."

Grooms this past season was named The Augusta Chronicle's Coach of the Year after leading the Panthers to a season-record 10 wins and capturing the Region 3-AAAA title.

Grooms came to Lakeside in 2007 from Anson County, N.C., and nearly lost his job that year after allowing his team to run an illegal play during the last game of that season. He was suspended for the first two games of the 2008 season and demoted from his position as athletic director at the school.

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RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 02/10/10 - 11:12 am
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Jody, don't forget to take

Jody, don't forget to take that "special" play book with you.

H4LJ
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H4LJ 02/10/10 - 11:18 am
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He should of been fired

He should of been fired immediately for that little stunt. You would think that he might stay for more than 2 seasons after being given a 2nd chance, which he never deserved. Stay Classy Jody

142
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Dan White 02/10/10 - 11:29 am
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H4LJ - my guess is that he

H4LJ - my guess is that he was offered the athletic director position too at Wayne County which comes with a nice raise. He would have had to wait a long time if ever to regain the AD job at LHS if he had stayed. Agreed, he should have been fired. They fired the coach at Greenbrier High for using ineligible players and allowed Grooms to stay. I always thought that strange and unfair.

wallcah
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wallcah 02/10/10 - 11:40 am
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While I will admit he was

While I will admit he was wrong for running that play, he is an outstanding coach. Heads and tails above any other coach in the CSRA, and just another example of why high school sports in the Augusta area will never be on par with those in Atlanta and those in south georiga (football specific)

rsthurman
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rsthurman 02/10/10 - 11:40 am
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It amazes me that people who

It amazes me that people who don't know what happened in a particular situation always have something bad to say about someone. Jody doesn't need or want me to defend him but he will have to get over it. He is a good coach and even better person. A mistake was made and it cost him something he values, his reputation. His biggest supporters were his players and that tells alot about a coach. If you ever played sports you would know what that means. Instead of knocking someone down, how about finding out something about him first? I coached with him in little league and what he instills in those kids is something to be proud of. He cares about his players above all else. He will be missed at Lakeside and I know that he will be a huge asset in Wayne County.

H4LJ
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H4LJ 02/10/10 - 11:55 am
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Hey guys, huddle up. Here's

Hey guys, huddle up. Here's what we're gonna do: We're going to run a pass play but the suprise will be when Billy, who isnt in the game, is going to run on the field as a reciever, from the sideline. QB, you throw it to him. But coach, isnt that cheating? Do as your told son! Wow, Coach Grooms, you are a great leader of young men!...Rsthurman, explain to us all, because you are probably the manager or the assistant coach at LHS how that situation above is not what it really happened. Are you saying he didnt know anything about it? Did someone else call that and he took the fall for it? Please explain for this even better person than a coach. I'm all about 2nd chances for people, that doesnt mean you shouldnt be fired what you did was wrong. I disagree with them keeping him as the coach, but they did. However, I think he owed it to school, the players and the community to stay and continue to be a "good person" even if that meant passing up a better gig or more money elsewhere. Heck, stay at least til all the players who were on the sidelines that night graduated.

678
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Barry Paschal 02/10/10 - 12:05 pm
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For the record, Scott

For the record, Scott Chadwick was not fired from Greenbrier for using ineligible players during the season. He resigned. As for the "trick" play, it was the players who asked Grooms to allow them to run it as the game was ending and they were losing anyway. He foolishly let them do it - but he didn't instigate it. That's better only by a tiny degree, but it is different. He allowed himself to be "one of the guys" in that moment rather than the adult, and was punished accordingly.

augfootballfan
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augfootballfan 02/10/10 - 12:11 pm
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WallCah "he is heads and

WallCah "he is heads and tails above any coach in csra" ?? not sure about that. Welsh?? Campbell?? Parker ?? I would even argue that Hughes at ARC has done just as good a job turning around a program as Groomes has. Coach Groomes is a fantastic coach and a great asset to Lakeside. I hope he does well at Wayne and i hope that CC can find a good person to replace him to continue what he has done.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 12:51 pm
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Jody Grooms performed a feat

Jody Grooms performed a feat with Lakeside as remarkable as getting Laney to win a golf championship. The culture at Lakeside did not support football before he arrived. He turned that around with his enthusiasm and hard work. Boys were running, lifting weights and dreaming of playing college football all over Martinez. He got these golfer-tennis kids to work hard and play with a dedication to their team that only equaled their zeal in the classroom where Lakeside has the highest SAT scores around. To my complete amazement, Lakeside demolished Evans and Greenbrier in FOOTBALL of all things. Evans was no pushover either. That was one of their few losses. So Grooms not only produced a Region Champion football team, he changed the entire mindset of the school regarding this school leading sport that won’t go away soon. He did all that without having a large booster club stipend or being given a Lamborghini allowance.

youbet
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youbet 02/10/10 - 12:54 pm
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To be fair, he also did it in

To be fair, he also did it in a much weaker region.

hdub24
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hdub24 02/10/10 - 01:03 pm
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coach i respect your decision

coach i respect your decision even though i may not like. you will be remebred here at lakeside as one of the greatest coaches we have ever had. you will be missed by all of your players and students.

Martinez
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Martinez 02/10/10 - 01:13 pm
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As a parent of one of the

As a parent of one of the players, this news is very sad. I don't care about the critics, I care about the positive impact and influence you have had on my son. You will be greatly missed. Wayne County is getting far more then a coach. I wish you luck. On another note, I certainly wish this news could have reached the players while they were together. Those boys are a family and deserved to hear this news before it hit the rumormill and newspaper.

Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/10/10 - 01:21 pm
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Three years too late.

Three years too late.

Riverman1
78406
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 01:21 pm
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Region ratings or not, it is

Region ratings or not, it is made up of all the CSRA schools and Lakeside won. By the way, they won their first round play-off game too against a team from another region.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 01:28 pm
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As far as the trick-illegal

As far as the trick-illegal play, all coaches teach ways to influence the referees, umpires and officials in every sport to allow players to get away with rules violations. Ever see a basketball player making like he was knocked back when he wasn't touched? Coaches teach that. Coaches also teach linemen how to hold without getting caught, teach receivers how to fake they were interfered with running routes, etc. It goes on and on.

sportfan
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sportfan 02/10/10 - 01:29 pm
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Let us remember that the

Let us remember that the aforementioned play was PRACTICED the week prior to the game. And an adult allowed his integrity as a coach to be compromised by giving into a player's request to perform an unethical play? Football was not reinvented when Grooms came to LHS, as we had multiple Division I players to leave and play (Rice, Virginia, Kentucky, TCU, etc..) AND they played during the years of stronger Region competition. If it makes you feel good to expound on the merits of shady characters, go ahead... but, there have been finer examples of coaching morals and life lessons learned at Lakeside prior to the Carney and Grooms regime.

Chillen
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Chillen 02/10/10 - 01:29 pm
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Wasn't there just a rezoning

Wasn't there just a rezoning in Columbia county that took some Evans High students and rezoned them to Lakeside? I'm sure Lakeside picked up a few good athletes to help the football program in the process.

From what I've read, he sounds like a great coach who will be missed but he probably did have a little rezoning help.

clyde1
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clyde1 02/10/10 - 01:34 pm
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I believe the article stated

I believe the article stated that the illegal play was made in 2007. It is now 2010 and a lot has happened since then. He made his restitution, was removed from the AD position, and was named Coach of the Year. Why do you continue to hold that play against him, or are you the type of person who always holds a grudge? What is in the past is in the past. Personally, I hope people don't hold a grudge against me because of any mistakes I made years ago, but maybe that just takes a sense of maturity.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 02/10/10 - 01:34 pm
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Had this coach not taught his

Had this coach not taught his players this play during practice, against the advice of other coaches, then the players would never have "asked" to run it during a game. High school football coaches have no place on our fields teaching, encouraging or allowing cheating and lying, which he aslo did after the fact. Defend him all you want but this and many other instances like it is why our society has become a society of enablers and excuses vs. individuals which take personal responsibiliyt and acountibility seriously. Lakeside will finally be better off.

678
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Barry Paschal 02/10/10 - 01:45 pm
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Asitis: Grooms admitted the

Asitis: Grooms admitted the infraction and was punished for it. There is no "enabling." There is, however, an argument here in favor of having the punishment fit the crime - which it did. It's a little out of proportion to contend that he should continue after all this time to be punished for it, don't you think?

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 02/10/10 - 02:47 pm
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It's all water under the

It's all water under the bridge now. Time to move on...

Riverman1
78406
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 02:49 pm
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I had to take an ethics

I had to take an ethics course for Army officers when I was on active duty. It went something like this. We didn’t steal, but we all drank coffee all day that came from our particular mess facility, wherever that may be, without paying for it. It’s more or less an Army custom. In other words, there are degrees that determine whether something is a moral wrong or not.

Martinez
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Martinez 02/10/10 - 02:50 pm
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The critics got their wish

The critics got their wish today, Grooms is leaving. Not that their misinformed views had anything to do with it. The bottomline is, this is a sad day for Lakeside football. The players are losing a coach they love, respect and trust. The program is losing a coach who put in more hours and dedication then some could even dream of having. It's OK players to have your moment of sadness and maybe even disappointment... once the surprise sinks in though, remember that you are a team. Not one player or coach alone detracts from the overall combined talents and passion you all have. Just as seniors graduate and coaches move on... Lakeside football will continue. Change is uncomfortable and often unwelcomed but how you handle it will shape who you become in the future. Let's show the community that the heart of Lakeside football still beats strongly.

Petey Aitchess
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Petey Aitchess 02/10/10 - 02:54 pm
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I'll remind Mr Nagle at the

I'll remind Mr Nagle at the poll the next time he is up for election. I remind Dr Carney every time I see him. I'm glad this boil has been removed from our bottoms.

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Lakeside95 02/10/10 - 03:07 pm
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As a LHS graduate...I am

As a LHS graduate...I am happy to see him leave. While we all enjoyed winning games (the best one ever was beating Evans with Coach Crislip my senior year on their field) winning isn't everything. I look forward to LHS moving on with a coach that is willing to work hard, play hard and learn from both the wins and the losses. Plus...isn't losing a well played game better than winning while cheating?

Riverman1
78406
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 03:21 pm
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Petey, Nagle is not an

Petey, Nagle is not an elected official. "Your" boil has given you septicemia and affected your equilibrium.

Riverman1
78406
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 03:26 pm
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Lakeside95, I'm sure you are

Lakeside95, I'm sure you are rightfully proud of your former coach and your team, but this year's team goes down in the history books, the 95 team doesn't.

youbet
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youbet 02/10/10 - 03:49 pm
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It's too bad the coach bails

It's too bad the coach bails on the program, just as it heads back into the tough region. That would have really been a better measure of his abilities as a coach.

Riverman1
78406
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Riverman1 02/10/10 - 04:41 pm
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Youbet, with your reasoning,

Youbet, with your reasoning, the other local coaches had best bail now because their programs were not nearly as successful as Lakeside's in the current region.

youbet
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youbet 02/10/10 - 05:16 pm
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I think all of the local

I think all of the local coaches are very concerned...much tougher opponents and more travel.

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