SEYMOUR — Seymour head football coach Scott Branton announced that Darrell Lauderdale has been tapped to run the Eagles middle school program for the 2022 season.

Lauderdale replaces Mike McReynolds who stepped down to spend more time with his family, Branton said.

Lauderdale’s experience with the Seymour program runs deep though as he has coached at the varsity level on a couple of occasions including last fall in 2021 as the the defensive line coach for the varsity program.

“(Darrell) is a Seymour guy, and he has been a part of the community for a long time,” Branton said. “We threw it out there to our assistants at the varsity level to see if anyone had any interest, and we had a few people in the school interested, but at the end of the day, I thought Darrell was a good fit to run our middle school program. He has an understanding of what we want at the varsity level.”

Lauderdale will still continue to assist with the varsity program this fall, but middle school will be the priority.

The combined seventh and eighth grade team will learn from Lauderdale who hopes to shape the program like the Eagles varsity team with their terminology and fundamentals.

Branton is excited about the future of the middle school and varsity programs, and he hopes that Lauderdale’s expertise will allow kids to come into high school with an understanding of what they will be asked to do in high school.

“Coach Mac and his staff did a good job of implementing some of the things we do at the varsity level over the last couple years,” Branton said. “Since Darrell has been with us though, hopefully he is a little bit more in the know of the details and how we set things up. We hope to set a really strong foundation for our program moving forward.”

While developing football players will be a priority, Branton is confident that Lauderdale will be able to mold young men in their early teenage years.

The familiarity between Branton and Lauderdale should make for a smooth transition, but Branton is also sure that the team will love their new coach.

“Coaching isn’t a nine-to-five job. It is a full commitment to these kids. They may need you or text at various hours, and we have to be ready to help them out,” Branton said. “One thing we talked about in staff meetings every year is to treat the kids like they are yours because they are. We want to treat them like family.”

With the consistency at the varsity level and a new middle school coach, the Eagles’ goal is to build upon their playoff appearance last fall in 2022, while their middle school program will hopefully develop players to play for the varsity in the years to come.