The Bears’ first ever win is also the first for Tommy Jones since he made the decision to leave a very successful tenure at Dacula to launch the Cherokee Bluff program. In five seasons as coach of the Falcons, Jones' teams went to the state playoffs four time and won three region championships. The first win is exciting and fun, but Jones and his staff plan to keep the focus long term.
"From Day 1 we talked about building this thing brick by brick," remembers Jones. "We understood that it wasn't going to be a quick build. I spoke with some buddies of mine who have done this, Shannon Jarvis at Mill Creek and Andy Dyer at Archer. Both said to have a lot of patience, and lay the right foundation, and that is what we try to do here, every step of the way. Realize that how you do anything, is how you do everything. We never knew when we were going to get that first one, and we never know when this thing is going to blow up, but if we do things the right way, we know that good days are coming for Cherokee Bluff and that's the goal."
A product of a great football family, Tommy Jones father, Tom, was a longtime assistant at Brookwood, where his brother Philip is the current head coach. Jones has been careful to not stray from the lessons that continue to shape his approach to the game today.
"My dad was a career assistant in the state of Georgia, and was what I would still consider to be the best offensive line coach at Brookwood," says Jones. "I played for Dave Hunter at Brookwood, and he is a guy who was as detail oriented as anybody. I learned a whole lot from him. What we have to do here is create family and community. We just believe that when players love players, and players love coaches, and coaches love players, good things are going to happen. That's the kind of culture we want here."