CONTESTS

Texas Coach Wins FNF Coaches Drone Contest

Ricky Sargent was due for some good news in 2021.

The Hearne High (Texas) athletic director and football coach did his job remotely from March until May due to flood damage at the school. Feeling discouraged by the state of affairs in a school in which 98% of the population is economically disadvantaged, Sargent decided to reach out to FNF Coaches for support.

He entered the 2021 FNF Coaches Drone Contest by stating his case on our website. He was selected from a pool of 35 entrants, and received a free drone in mid-May.

“I’ve never won anything, except for being a part of a state championship,” Sargent said. “But nothing like this. I’m going to get with the Superintendent and Principal and see how we can use it to our benefit.”

Hearne High closed indefinitely after a burst water pipe flooded most of the building with 4 inches of water. The burst happened in the gymnasium foyer and severely affected every room in the school except for the cafeteria and the library. No students returned to the school until a few testing days in early May. The hope is to have the school up and running by August.

“It’s very difficult not being able to see the kids here at the school,” Sargent said. “I like to stay on top of the kids to make sure we can help them get all of the resources they need so that they’re successful in the classroom. The kids know that I stress academics first.”

Sargent’s focus on his players’ academics has resulted in improved performance in the classroom. Before the start of the pandemic, all of his players earned ‘A’ or ‘B’ averages for the first time in program history.

“We prefer to see our kids face to face,” Sargent said. “Our kids struggle at home when the parents go to work and they’re there by themselves. Our kids fight and crawl to get it done. We try not to make excuses.”