It’s 400 wins for LaGrange’s Weathers

Published 11:41 am Thursday, December 7, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

It was a milestone night for LaGrange High wrestling coach Scooter Weathers.

Weathers, who took over as LaGrange’s head coach in 1999, has accomplished a great deal during his nearly 20 years at the helm.

On Tuesday, he was able to cross another accomplishment off the to-do list.

When LaGrange beat Russell County, Weathers joined an exclusive club with his 400th dual-meet victory.

“Like I told the kids last night, and they were all happy about it, I told them it ain’t just me,” Weathers said. “I’ve had great assistant coaches, and I’ve had great wrestlers who bought into what I wanted done. It goes way back. Everybody who has wrestled for me is part of this.”

When Weathers took over the wrestling program, he was offered some advice by then head football coach Steve Pardue, and it has served him well over the years.

“Coach Pardue told me one of the biggest thing about being a head coach is having great assistants, and I’ve had some great ones,” Weathers said. “John (Rich) is awesome, coach Hyers was great. Coach (Clark) Rich of course.”

Weathers, a graduate of LaGrange High and LaGrange College, took over the wrestling program at his alma mater for the 1999-2000 season.

While LaGrange has a proud wrestling history, the program was struggling a bit when Weathers took charge.

“It had hit rock bottom a little bit. We had to build it back up,” Weathers said. “My first year, we finished with 17 wrestlers, and it kept growing and growing.”

The program has thrived under Weathers’ leadership, and the team finished as high as third in the state duals.

Weathers has also coached nearly 100 state placers, including three state champions in Hollis Mallory, Tony Palmer and Archie Dudley.

While Weathers takes a lot of satisfaction from seeing his wrestlers excel on the mat, it also means a lot to him to see them thrive after high school.

“I’ve always told them, my state championship is to see them become good men, good husbands, and good fathers,” Weathers said. “And then I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, whether they win a ring or not.”

Weathers has had opportunities to take jobs elsewhere, but he believes LaGrange High is where he belongs.

Recalling one particular job offer, Weathers said “I told them I was flattered, but I told them I wanted to stay where I’m at. I don’t want to leave.”