Sneed leads Northeast

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006


– You’ll see a new look on the Northeast Eagles sideline this year and it won’t be just the head coach.

One of the first tasks new head coach Collin Sneed undertook was having the players’ helmets reconditioned and new decals applied.

&uot;We want everyone to be the same,&uot; Sneed said. &uot;Some had the letter ‘N’ while others had an eagle.&uot;

Sneed served as an assistant coach last season before taking over the helm of the football program this year.

According to Headmaster Russell Leake, Sneed was the right man for the job.

&uot;We were looking for somebody that knew the game, someone the kids would have confidence in and a person to bring some enthusiasm to football and the football program here,&uot; Leake said.

&uot;When the athletic committee conducted interviews we were looking for someone that wouldn’t be with us just a year or two but someone that would make a commitment not only to the kids but to Northeast Academy,&uot; continued Leake.

Sneed is Northeast’s third head football coach in four years.

He continued, &uot;Time will tell with wins or losses, but the kids are excited about football and excited about playing for Collin.

In Collin we felt like we ended up getting everything we wanted.&uot;

One reason Sneed was ready to make the change to head coach was the players.

&uot;I had really good kids out there,&uot; he said.

&uot;I’m a teacher and football is something I love to do,&uot; Sneed continued.

&uot;I’m really an X and O’s guy.&uot;

Sneed wasted no time getting his team prepared for the upcoming season.

Team members started lifting weights this summer as part of a weight program Sneed developed last season.

&uot;We started conditioning a lot earlier this year.

If we get big, strong and faster hopefully we won’t be pushed around on the field,&uot; Sneed explained.

Sneed has more changes in the works.

&uot;I want to try and put people in better positions and try to teach them predicaments so they are prepared when they see scenarios play out on the field,&uot; he said. &uot;I think some players were playing out of position (in the past) but the coach has to put players where needed.&uot;

Another change Sneed plans to implement is narrowing down the playbook.

&uot;We’ll run only the plays that are necessary to win and not go overboard,&uot; he insisted. &uot;We have 12 basic plays and I want to be able to run them to perfection.&uot;

Sneed gives his players a great deal of credit for buying into his system.

&uot;I’ve been asking them to come out on Saturday to lift weights and put some of the playbook in,&uot; he said.

Practice officially started July 31 and Northeast will host Parrot Academy, the 2005 state runners-up, in their home opener on August 25.

For now the team is working to prepare for a jamboree at Lawrence Academy on August 19.

&uot;During the season we don’t practice until after I get off work at five,&uot; said Sneed who works as a Recreation Specialist at the Northampton County Recreation Department. &uot;This will give the players a chance to lift weights before practice.&uot;

Another new concept Sneed has brought to Northeast is the Red and White game, where the offense will scrimmage the defense.

&uot;With me being a first year head coach this will give me a chance to see what everyone looks like at each position and give everyone equal playing time,&uot; the coach said.

Sneed brings a great deal of football knowledge and experience to the sidelines.

He played fullback and linebacker for Hertford County High School for three years.

Sneed went on to play two years at fullback for Appalachian State before trying to break into the National Football League.

After being cut by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round, Sneed played semi-pro football for the Southampton Huskies for several years.

From there he moved to the sidelines as coach of the Carolina Grizzlies semi-pro team.

Sneed coached the Grizzlies for three years before accepting assistant coaching duties at Northeast last season.

Making the transition from eleven-man football to eight-man has been a challenge, admits Sneed.

&uot;Eight-man is more difficult because the game is wide open,&uot; he said. &uot;In eleven-man you have layers of defense where in eight-man if you miss the tackle they are likely going to score a touchdown.

&uot;I think it will take me a little while to adjust but I don’t think it will be that hard.

If we tackle and run the ball we’ll have a good chance of winning,&uot; Sneed said.

Familiar faces will be on the sidelines as Sneed’s assistant coaches.

Stephen Mize has been named Assistant Head Coach and will also serve as the offensive and defensive line coach.

James Roberts will be the Defensive Coordinator and Frank White will handle running back and line backer coaching duties.

Sneed and his wife Jennifer reside in Kelford.