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Hudson named new head coach at Sparta Academy

Pike Liberal Arts offensive coordinator Arlton Hudson is returning home to become the new head football coach at Sparta Academy in Evergreen.

After coaching the Patriots for five years, Hudson is returning to Evergreen in hopes of revitalizing the Sparta football program.

“Anytime you are making a change it’s exciting,” Hudson said. “I’m going back home and I am very familiar with the area and I’m looking forward to a good relationship with Russ Brown, the Headmaster there. It’s going to take a lot of work; the program has been down for a while, but any time you go into a new job, you know that going in. I’m looking forward to the challenge that it will bring.”

It won’t be an easy task for Hudson and Sparta. The Warriors have won just two games since their last playoff appearance in 2015. They finished the 2018 season 0-10. Hudson is looking to bring excitement for Warrior football back to Evergreen. The first step for Hudson is to build up the numbers.

“I want to bring the tradition back,” Hudson said. “In years gone by, they had a good program. Numbers have fallen off, so I have to hit the ground running and add some numbers.”

Hudson is no stranger to building up football programs, in fact it’s been his M.O. during his career.

“That has pretty much been my forte everywhere I have been,” Hudson said. “I went into programs when they were down and have been able to revive them and have a tremendous relationship with the kids. We have to get there and get to know the kids and build those relationships and ignite the whole community; make them believe again.”

Hudson arrived at Pike with current head coach Gene Allen and since their arrival, the football program has continued to grow and get better.

“Coach Allen and I were old friends and he asked to me to come and help get the program back,” Hudson said. “My forte is offense and his forte has always been defense and we had a pretty good combination there. We were able to do some things there. the kids bought into the program that we gave them and it was good. I can’t say enough about the kids at Pike. They worked tremendously hard to get where they are.”

Hudson believes this will be his final stop in his coaching career.

“It’s an opportunity to go back out and be the head guy,” Hudson said. “Be in charge of that program and I look forward to that challenge. It’s a relationship at this point in time that was the best for me.”

During his time with the Patriots, Hudson built relationships with not only the football players and coaches, but with the faculty, staff and parents.

“I have made some tremendous friends there,” Hudson said. “I met some people in the community that are really good friends of mine now. It’s one of those times in life where you have to make up your mind about which direction you are heading. The direction I chose was to go back to being a new head football coach and start to build relationships and a new program.”