Louisville, Ky, is home to some of the best football programs in the country. A school in Louisville that has been an afterthought is slowly coming to the forefront. Atherton Rebels head coach Anthony White has established a new culture since taking over the football program. Coach White has led the Rebels to the playoffs the last two seasons. The appearances are the first time the school made back-to-back playoff appearances in over a decade.
The season is around the corner, and the team process is underway. The team is optimistic about the season, especially with head coach Anthony White coming into his third year. The freshman and sophomores are now upperclassmen. The players understand the system and understand the new standard.
“My philosophy as a coach is to play the best man. I am more of a players coach; I see myself as Charlie Strong or Dabo Swinney style coach.” Coach White said.
Coach White brought the military in for team-building exercises. Staff Sergeant General Shain Jones and Staff Sergeant General Monique Vaden of the KY Army National Guard joined the Rebels. They put them through drills. These drills helped build character, chemistry, and trust.
While the team has made progress by reaching the postseason, they look to take the next step. White is seeking his first playoff win, and Atherton Rebels are looking to do the same. The High School has not had a playoff win in a long time. In his first year with the Rebels, they went 5-6, with a four-game winning streak. Last year covid threw their momentum off track, but they are up for the challenge this year.
Coach White understands that the game starts in the trenches. The big bodies upfront don’t always get the glory, but establishing the line of scrimmage is foundational to any success a team hopes to achieve. Outside of the lineman, there are two players at the forefront of the Rebels movement. Jeremiah Payne and Chance Thompson. Payne is an RB/DB and a senior. Thompson, a junior, is a WR/DB. Both have looked great during summer practice and seven on seven.
“Once this program comes together as one, the team will take off. In terms of skills and talent, the team is very versatile.” Thompson said. “ Once we put that cherry on top, I feel not many teams can guard us.”
Jeremiah Payne explained more on what the Rebels need to do. “We have to do better than last year. In general, be a better program. We have to win more games, have fewer penalties, and have more discipline. Last year, the team did not have discipline. We need to do everything we didn’t do last year to come together as a unit and as a program.”
Atherton looks great coming along at this early portion of the season. These are not your old Rebels. The team will start the season with a home game against Henry County on Aug. 20, hoping to win their first season opener in three years.