Spencer High football: New coach Calvin Arnold, a former Shaw High defensive end, insists Greenwave can turn around struggling program

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 30, 2012 

How long has it been since Spencer High's football program enjoyed a winning season? Long enough that new coach Calvin Arnold was not born yet.

The Greenwave has gone since 1977 without a winning record. They have had a pair of .500 seasons at 5-5 -- in 2007 and in 1992.

That last .500 season came in Oliver Davis' first season. But he went 8-32 over the next for years.

Despite all of that, Arnold says Spencer can be successful in football.

"I know this is a program I can turn around," Arnold said. "Spencer has always had the talent."

Arnold said motivating the players is a key.

"As long as you get the kids on board, and you show them what they can do, they will start to see the difference and take more pride in the program and the school," Arnold said.

Arnold is a former standout defensive end at Shaw High School, where he played for Charles Flowers. He was a two-time member of the Ledger-Enquirer All-Bi-City team in 1998 and '99.

He went on to play defense at Grambling State under coach Doug Williams.

After graduating with a degree in computer information systems, he went to work as an assistant coach at Shaw during Flowers' last two years there in 2004-05.

After a year with Dell McGee at Carver, Arnold joined Flowers at Dougherty for three years, then followed him to Troup for the past two seasons.

Flowers resigned from Troup during the spring, and Arnold said he had an option to remain as Troup's defensive coordinator.

But when the Spencer position came open during the spring, Arnold applied for it. He said he was told in May that the job would be his but that it didn't become official until earlier this month.

The Greenwave began practice last Wednesday in helmets, per Georgia High School Association rules. They will be able to add pads Wednesday.

"Everything is going pretty good," he said. "We had a small number turn out (35), but that is expected with the size of the school.

"Everyone has been upbeat, up-tempo, actually looking forward to the season."

Arnold said he expects that number to grow to around 65 when school starts this month.

"It is going to take success, and it is going to take having the kids believe in what you tell them," Arnold said.

"… As the years go on, I would love to see 85-100 kids."

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