Sorrells faces his past

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Just because you leave a place, doesn't mean you sever ties. For Stephen Sorrells that's the case. For most of his life Sorrells has known two colors – red and blue. But this season, all that changed.

Sorrells traded in his blue and red for green and gold when he became the defensive coordinator for the Edgewood Academy Wildcats.

"He still carries that Fort Dale bag around," said Bobby Carr, coach of the Edgewood Academy Wildcats. "We've been ragging him about it all season. But he's going to have to get rid of it this week."

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When asked about the bag, "I've ordered a new one," said Sorrells. "But I think that Keith Taylor down at Championship Trophy is holding out on me. But, I'm an Edgewood Wildcat now, I have a lot of respect for the program, the coaches and the kids here."

Sorrells attended classes at Fort Dale from kindergarten through the day he graduated. Then he became a member of the coaching staff. While an athlete at Fort Dale, Sorrells was part of the 2000 state runner up team.

As a coach, he looked up to the Fort Dale leaders, James Sampley and Jimmy Gardner.

"I've coached a lot of those kids in football and baseball for three years," said Sorrells. "I also have a lot of respect for Coach Sampley and Coach Gardner. Next to my father, I have probably more respect for them than anyone else."

Even though Stephen Sorrells is no longer associated with Fort Dale Academy, his allegiance can still be seen.

"I coached a lot of the kids in football and baseball for three years," Sorrells said. "So I still am very close to the coaches down there."

Sorrells even has family ties to Fort Dale and the city of Greenville.

"My niece still goes there and my parents live in Greenville," Sorrells said.

With the change in position and job title comes a change in responsibility and for Sorrells his task Friday night is not going to be an easy one.

"It's going to be weird to start the game, when I came up here I didn't think we'd be playing each other so soon," Sorrells said. "But I've got a job to do."

His job is going to be figuring out a way to stop the Fort Dale offense that averages over 250 yards rushing a game.

"They run a new defense than they have in the past," Sorrell said. "Offensively I have to figure out a way to stop them. I'm doing the doing the defense so I know what they are going to do and Speed does a great job at coming up with something new each year for the playoffs."

"He's done a good job for them. I believe that he'll have them prepared because he knows what we do," said James Sampley, coach of the Fort Dale Eagles. "He has called every week to check on these kids and seeing how everything is going with them. He's a good guy and I wish him a lot of luck, just not this Friday night."

Sorrell's ties to Fort Dale run deep, but now, he's setting up new ties.

"He does a great job and we are fortunate to have him," Carr said. "He is a great addition to our staff. We still think he bleeds red and blue."