Enterprise City Schools recently named Opp native Jim Bedsole as the new Coppinville Junior High head football coach.
Bedsole grew up in Opp but attended and graduated from Kinston before going to Enterprise State Community College and later Alabama.
Following graduation, Bedsole served as an assistant coach at Horseshoe Bend in Alexander City before taking over as head baseball coach and offensive coordinator at Slocomb in 2011. Bedsole also served as head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Pike County for five years and one year at Straughn.
After taking two years off from coaching, Bedsole was ready to get back into the swing of things. Bedsole’s brother-in-law, Bradley Bowers, served as an assistant football coach at Enterprise for a number of years, so he knew Enterprise would be a great place to come.
“I grew up around Enterprise my whole life, too, so I knew the school system is amazing,” Bedsole said. “(Coppinville Prinicpal Debbie) Hope is phenomenal and I just wanted to get back into it and I couldn’t think of a better place to start.”
Former Coppinville head coach Barry Burns is staying on board to serve as an assistant at Coppinville, and assistant baseball coach at EHS, which Bedsole said has helped with the transition.
“I’m glad he’s here,” Bedsole said. “It’s really helpful just to get a general idea of how he does things and how I do things. We’ve been friends for awhile and we can bounce ideas off each other. Coach (Randy) Hart and (Joe) Kirkland are awesome, too. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for them.”
Bedsole said that he wants to win every game at Coppinville but the most important thing is just getting better, and he said that he is fully aware of the success that crosstown rival Dauphin has had over the past several years.
“We just want to improve every day,” Bedsole said. “We only won two games last year I think and I know Dauphin was undefeated. So, we want to be able to compete and improve.”
More than 50 Coppinville students showed up for the first few days of summer workouts, which was encouraging to their new coach.
“We had a good turnout,” Bedsole continued. “I tell them all the time I want to go 8-0 this year but the big thing is just getting better and developing the kids. Not just make them good players, though, make them good young men and transfer that to the classroom.”
Bedsole said another big thing for the Eagles will be getting them ready to make the transition to the high school level in the coming years, as well.
“Coach (Rick) Darlington has been really supportive,” Bedsole said. “I watched them workout and their system is unreal. It’s really an easier transition if you can do things similar to the high school. It’s important to us to do things the right way so that they know what to do when they get over there.”