It didn’t take long for the news of Patrick Stewart’s departure as head football coach at LCA to make its way around the school. In the aftermath of the news, Lions’ players took to social media and text to let people know just how much of an impact Stewart and his coaching staff, which included defensive coordinator Nick Snowden, had on the players.
Running back Keon McGhee, who was injured just four games into the season, broke the silence by tweeting out his gratitude for the Lions coaching staff.
“It’s rare to find high school coaches like (Nick Snowden and Patrick Stewart) who’s main goal is to get their kids to college or where they want to be,” McGhee tweeted. “Those are the type of people and coaches you want to have in your life. Thank you for everything y’all have done for me!”
Other players soon jumped in to show their support, with many messaging The Tribune with their appreciation of the coaches.
“The whole coaching staff came in and turned the program around from day one. To the very end, they sacrificed time out of work, and from there family's to be with us. And they changed my life personally, and the whole program as well,” sophomore Josh Towns said. “I learned more this year than I have my whole life playing football. All the coaches put everything they had to help us be great. Not just on the field but off the field as well.”
Senior Jordan Jackson was especial appreciative of Stewart and his staff.
“I didn’t have any offers or preferred walk-on spots, not even a look. I was a basketball kid who was decent enough to play on the varsity Basketball team. I had played football my junior year for fun, and it was not a great experience,” Jackson said. “I was not planning on playing at all, until I had spoken with him. He came up to me and said ‘What do I have to do to get you back on the field?’ After a long talk, I was signed up to play my senior year. Soon after, we took off. Coach Stewart brought in the best coaching staff I have ever been with. He sacrificed his family time with his new wife to take us on multiple college visits. Most were out of state. Coach’s twitter DMs were 1,000 plus messages to college coaches trying to get us on the map, and trying to get us to the next level. I left my 2020 football season with 15 plus college offers, an all-state selection and an Elite Raw All-American and it is all thanks to Coach Stewart.
“Not only was he a help with football, but he helped turn me into a better man too. During the season I had lost my uncle the night before a game. I was destroyed. On that next day he checked me out of school, and took me to his house. He made me breakfast, and had a heart to heart with me as a man before we had to leave for the game. That same day I ran for 300 plus yards, and had the best game of the season.”
LaJalan Stephens, who transferred in from Loganville prior to the 2019 season, appreciated Stewart’s work ethic as a coach and his willingness to put in extra time to develop his players.
“Coach Stewart is a grinder, man, he made sure that we just didn’t grind on the field but in our classrooms and out in the real world. That’s the type of person he is,” Stephens said. “Coach Stewart bent his back over for me. He took me to a bunch of visits for college and he non-stops texts coaches to get me to the next level.”