Patriot Assistant Takes Head Football Coach Job in Ohio
By Charlie Bergmann
Special to The Pilot
Jason Sparks is leaving one hotbed of high school football and going to another.
The defensive coordinator at Pinecrest the last three years has accepted his first head coaching job at Portsmouth High School in southeastern Ohio. He and his wife, Bridget, are going to a place that is within two hours of each of their home towns of Cynthiana, Ky., and Cincinnati, respectively. They have a 6-month-old son, David Allen.
The Patriots under head coach Chris Metzger faced one of the toughest conference and non-conference schedules in the state the past two years. The defensive unit led by Sparks was hard-nosed and resilient.
"It's a very similar schedule at Portsmouth," Sparks a special education teacher at Pinecrest, says. "The whole southeastern area of Ohio is eerily similar to what we saw in this conference. You're playing a formidable opponent every week."
Sparks was a defensive tackle at Morehead State University (Ky.) in his playing days. He came to Pinecrest from Columbus, Ohio, after several years of experience at the college level. He is the fourth member of Metzger's staff in six years at Pinecrest to land a head coaching position.
Bridget, a science teacher at Pinecrest, played four years of college volleyball at Eastern Kentucky University and is currently the coaching director of the sport for AC Sandhills.
"We're excited for Jason and his wife and son," Metzger says. "They're going to be close to both of their families in a town where football is important, like it is here. He's going to infuse some energy into that program."
Plans are for Sparks to leave for Ohio at the end of February. The Portsmouth Trojans were 7-23 the last three years under a longtime coach. The season opens Aug. 31 with a home game against a Lucasville Valley team that went undefeated the past two regular seasons.
"I'm looking forward to the future." Jason Sparks says. "The experience, from school to football, was amazing here. The teachers and coaches were amazing to work with and shared the same vision of wanting kids to be successful.
"I'm grateful for everything that happened here. We truly loved this area."
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