By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
HUBBARD: Facilities don’t determine success level, but they do play a part
The press box inside of Sharp Stadium was a focal point for Newton head football coach Camiel Grant Jr. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

Almost a year ago, I arrived reporting on the local sports scene in Newton County. Many topics, subjects, issues and concerns were presented to me when I first moved up here. One of the biggest, if not the biggest issue I was informed about was the lack of updated facilities in the county. 

Obviously, the center of those conversations was Sharp Stadium and the amenities, or the lack thereof, it presented. 

After the first football game I covered, I understood why individuals across the county were displeased with the condition. As other sports seasons began, I noticed other facilities that were lackluster in their appearances and such, too.

A school year has come and gone now and athletics for Alcovy, Eastside and Newton thrived across the board. So much happened this past year that I can’t even begin to list it all in this column. So, in short, I’ll say it was quite the year for Tigers, Eagles and Rams athletics. 

That brought a question to my mind: How are athletics so successful when the facilities are not seemingly up-to-date? The answer, to me, was multilayered. 


Newton County had some stellar student-athletes performing on the field or court during the 2021-22 school year. 

From McKenzie Calloway for the Rams track team to Dallas Johnson for Eastside football and Ben Hodges for Alcovy basketball, student-athletes everywhere really brought their “A” game. In total, 28 senior athletes signed a college scholarship in the 2021-22 school year.


A coach’s heart and passion for their staff and players is something no one can fake or put on. It’s pretty evident when a coach cares or doesn’t care about the people they’re leading. 

Newton County is filled with coaches for all sports who genuinely care about and for their student-athletes to do well. They also have the drive to see their student-athletes do well in everything do inside and outside of athletics. 

Community Support

One thing that became evident to me when I covered my first sporting event in the area was the community comes out to support all schools’ athletics. No matter if it’s freezing cold, raining, 100 degrees or fans have to drive a great distance, Newton County is well-represented when one of its teams are playing. 

That helps tremendously, I think, to the success of each program is for coaches and players to look into the stands and see gold, green or blue in the stands. 

All in all, it seems like all of the pieces are here to help fuel the future success for Alcovy, Eastside and Newton athletics. Now, with the mentioning of renovations made to Sharp Stadium at a recent BOE meeting, I hope that sparks the development of better facilities for all interested parties to enjoy for years to come..

Phillip B. Hubbard is sports editor for The Covington News. Reach him at