ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — An awakening on the football field is now resonating through the Antioch community.
It’s taken one man’s vision, determination, and all around hard work to accomplish this turnaround that’s certainly no Cinderella story.
Devin Arnold had a big job in front of him when he became Antioch High School’s football coach last year.
“We’re just feeding and buying in and pouring into these young men, as a coaching staff, as a school, they are having fun,” Arnold said.
Entering this season, the Bears had lost 53 of their last 55 games. The school had not tasted victory since 2020. However, that’s all changed.
Arnold said hard work and dedication have Antioch sitting in first place in their region, stringing together three wins.
“The boys have really bought in; they have invested a lot of time in the weight room and playbook, studying increasing their IQ, just learning the game of football,” Arnold said.
This year’s highlights also include the first home win in six years. Most importantly, they have bought into each other, according to Arnold.
“It’s been a brotherhood over here this year and just changing the culture daily, so to see them have some success it’s not shocking, it’s expected,” Arnold said.
Freshman quarterback Andre Adams leads a squad that’s serious about succeeding on and off the field. The turnaround is bigger than Friday nights. It starts in the hallways of Antioch High School and flows into the community.
“We preach study hall, we preach grades, academics, as well as being good servants to the community of Antioch so we do a lot of things in the community to get our name out there,” Arnold said.
The breakthrough season will likely end with the Bears in the state playoffs for the first time since 2016.
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One thing is clear: Arnold said Antioch will not be overwhelmed by the moment, or the opponent.
“Our boys are locked in, they are prepared, we’ll just show up and see where the wind blows,” Arnold said.
The Bears are set to play Smyrna High School at home tonight in a game that could determine the region championship.