SIBLEY – Former Lakeside head football coach Joey Pesses slipped out of Sibley rather quietly sometime in the month following Lakeside’s disappointing 2016 season. That left the school and new principal Denny Finley with a hire on their hands.
After five interviews with potential candidates, the Warriors have tabbed Jason Martin as their new leader.
“When he walked in and interviewed, everybody looked over at me like ‘That’s your guy’” Finley said. “What stood out was how passionate he was about the classroom as well. All the candidates had strong points, but we made a decision based on what’s best for our school and I knew Jason coming from being a part of North Webster’s rebuilding process, I think he understands a situation like ours.”
Martin, who played at Homer under Pelicans head coach Glen Kyle, was a defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator for the North Webster Knights before moving to Homer to be Kyle’s defensive coordinator in 2015. Martin will be tasked with guiding Lakeside back from one of the darkest periods in program history.
“I’ve been in Webster Parish for eight years,” Martin said. “I always knew there were great people down here and great kids. They have nice facilities as well. It’s just a great place to coach football.”
It’s the first head coaching gig for Martin in football, but he believes his time under Kyle and current North Webster head coach John Ware have prepared him for the challenge.
“It’s definitely going to be a new experience for me,” Martin said. “I’ve been very fortunate to work for two very good coaches who taught me a lot about how to run a program. Both do such a great job at everything from taking care of the facilities to fundraising.”
Spirit raising will be as important as fundraising for Martin and his staff in 2016. Lakeside ended 2015 winless with very little to hang their hat on. Dating back to 2010, Lakeside’s record is 17-45.
According to Martin, the road back for his Warriors starts by changing the mentality and culture around the locker room.
“We have to get these kids to believe in what I have in mind as a head coach,” Martin said. “It all starts with that confidence level. Then, we have to get all the kids out for football. I’ll be walking the hallways for sure.
We’re going to rebuild this program with effort and it starts with the locker room and weight room. We’re going to approach things day by day.”
Martin said he will drive to Sibley on Friday to meet his team and staff to begin the next chapter of Lakeside football.
“Everyone there I’ve talked to is very, very eager to get going,” Martin said. “It’s time to turn the page to a new era of Lakeside football.”