"This can be a gold mine" -- North Shore assistant takes over at Ball High
Sheldon Bennight has been a proven winner over the years… as an assistant.
The North Shore running backs coach has been named the Galveston Ball head coach – his first head coaching job.
"I've been around programs that I've helped turn around like Dickinson, Clear Creek and Marshall," Bennight said. "I think that struck a chord with the board. Coach (Bull) Trahan and Coach (Jon) Kay played a big part of me getting considered for this job.
"What really interested me is the history and tradition at Ball High," he said. "The possibilities… When you are going for your first head coaching job, you want to find a place that can be successful. Galveston Ball is that program. This can be a gold mine.""
Bennight has been on staff with Jon Kay for all three state titles – 2015, 2018 and 2019.
"I've learned a lot from all the coaches I've worked for," he said. "With Coach Kay, I've been so impressed with his consistency, whether you are the best athlete or the smallest kid on the field. He coached everyone the same and held everyone accountable. That makes everyone feel important.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished at North Shore. We built a lot of character in those kids and it was evident. It's the intangibles is what he preached. That wins you ball games. I am truly proud to have worked there."
Kay had nothing but high praise for the new coach.
"Sheldon has a tremendous football mind and we leaned on his experience during his time at North Shore," Kay said. "He's been a part of some great programs throughout the state of Texas and I'm sure he's going to put his own mark on Galveston Ball. We are going to miss his contributions, but we are excited for him. Ball High is getting a winner!"
Bennight replaces former Ball alum and former NFL Pro Bowler Kimble Anders, who was 26-44 in seven seasons.
"My message is to focus on improving every day," he said. "We are going to do right in the classroom, the football field and when we are off campus. We want these kids to exit the program better than they were when they came into the program."
One of Bennight's first jobs is to "attack the junior high schools".
"In coaching, there is always a sense of urgency," he said. "What I've learned over the years is that you have to have a little patience. I'm going to get the right people (coaches) down here, but it's going to take some time. The administration has been very supportive.
"We have to remember that these are high school kids, playing high school ball," he said. "We have to remember to make it fun and build a sense of family."