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As part of a land swap deal with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a new Public Storage building is being constructed on Monroe Drive near the Eastside BeltLine Trail entrance, a street away from Midtown, with its previous location on Piedmont Avenue.
New storage center set for development on BeltLine
Aerin JonesApril 13, 2024

As part of a land swap deal with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, a new Public Storage building is being constructed on Monroe Drive near the Eastside...

Ellerton takes over football head coach position

Gigi Highlander
New football head coach Delbert Ellerton walks on to the field in preparation for the Knights’ scrimmage against Maynard Jackson on Aug. 11. The team is 2-2 in the regular season.

After finishing 6-4 last season, the Knights football team is striving for a winning record this year with head coach Delbert Ellerton leading the team. 

With experience coaching defensive backs and receivers at the now-closed Turner Middle School, Ellerton is familiar with the football scene. 

“One thing I realized since I hadn’t coached football in a while, I hadn’t played in a while- it’s really exciting to be back there because, for most boys, that sport is your first love as a sport,” Ellerton said. 

Ellerton said when he was presented with the position, it came as a bit of a surprise to him, but using his coaching background to his advantage, he thinks he is ready for the role.

“This is a very interesting and challenging opportunity, and I’m embracing it,” Ellerton said. “I’m a bit humbled that I was asked to do this.” 

Growing up, Ellerton played football at Grady for three years, taking a year off to run cross country, then returning to football his senior year. 

“I came back my senior year, and I was a starter at pretty much everything on the field that you would use a skilled receiver or a skilled player,” Ellerton said. “I started at receiver. I started at cornerback. I was on the kickoff team. I was on the kickoff return team. I was on the punt team. So, I didn’t come off the field a whole lot.” 

Athletic Director Blair Barksdale is confident in what Ellerton will bring to the team and believes his prior coaching experience will contribute to the team’s success.

“I’m most excited for coach Ellerton to take on this role because he has been here a good while, so he knows the Midtown community as a mentor for students,” Barksdale said. “He’s also coached track for 21 years, so he knows coaching. It seems like it should be a seamless transition for this season, and we’re excited because he’s working hard.”    

Molly Paulson, mother of twins and players, Jude and Dean Paulson, hopes her kids will experience a year of consistent coaching.

“For my kids and for the [team], hopefully, there will be stability with the coaching staff because I know that hasn’t always been the case in the past few years,” Paulson said. “I think the number one thing is just the team’s cohesiveness.”

During the season, Ellerton will work with the assistant coaches, using their insight and previous relationships to advance the team forward.

“The coaches are the institutional knowledge of this team,” Ellerton said. “They know the kids; they have the relationships with the kids, and I have to depend heavily on them because they were pretty much operating the team before I even came out there.”

Junior quarterback Noah Morrison said Ellerton’s experience as head track coach will help to make coaching the football team easier. 

“As a head coach, just being a leader is most of it,” Morrison said. “And that doesn’t change based on what sport it is.” 

Senior defensive back and receiver Xzavian Blackman has been running track with Ellerton since his freshman year, but last year was his first year doing hurdles. Ellerton advised Blackman, helping him finish fifth in the state in the 300-meter hurdles, and rank 37th in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles. 

“Last year was my first year doing hurdles, and he made me become one of the top hurdlers in the nation,” Blackman said. 

Playing his second year on the team, junior receiver Farris Duwayri believes Ellerton’s mentality makes him a good coach, not only for track, but football, as well.

“He has had a lot of success in the past with track,” Duwayri said. “ I think his coaching style and overall mentality will be really good for any team, and he can carry that onto football.”

Despite the coaching inconsistencies in the past with the team, Paulson is hopeful for what Ellerton’s perspective will bring to the team environment.

“I’ve heard about everything that coach Ellerton has done with the track team through the years, so I do hope that he could give that good leadership and guidance that he has done for that track team,” Paulson said.  “I’m thankful that he has stepped in because I know that it has to be someone who’s faculty, and he does so much already.”

Barksdale hopes to see the team continue to succeed and grow.

“My hope is that they stay focused, and they work on what we need to do to accomplish a good season,” Barksdale said. “I think every year, [especially] the past two years, they’ve increased; they’ve grown, and they’ve gotten better …They have over 70 students out there right now, which is huge.”

Ellerton said his favorite part about coaching is watching the players develop, which he hopes he can do for the football players this season.

“You can see the progress that they make and the growth that they make, especially if you have a freshman who comes in, and by the time they get to their senior year, especially if they’ve mastered skills,” Ellerton said. “If they started to have success, and to see that, that’s very rewarding.”

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About the Contributors
Hannah Silver, Lifestyle Associate Managing Editor
Hannah Silver is a junior and this is her third year writing for the Southerner. When she's not spending her time writing, she is doing cheer, is beta club co-vice president, plays violin, is a company member at her dance studio, is a latin club officer, jewish student union leadership member, and enjoys hanging out with her friends.
Fairlie Mercer, Writer
Fairlie Mercer is a sophomore and this is her first year writing for the Southerner. When she is not writing she is either hanging out with friends or participating in the theatre department!

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