Banks County’s sudden resignation of head football coach Josh Shoemaker left the Leopards in search of a new leader. On Tuesday, the school announced Chad Cheatham as that leader.
Cheatham has been a defensive backs coach for the Banks County program, so it appears to be an easy transition for him, the rest of the staff and the players. This is a similar situation to when Shoemaker took over after the departure of Biff Parson.
Cheatham makes the 15th head coach for Banks County in its history dating back to 1958. The Leopards are hoping the coaching carousal stays here for a bit, as the program has had five coaches since 2010, with Blair Armstrong (2007-10), Phillip Jones (2011-12), Biff Parson (2013-15) and Shoemaker (2015-17).
Shoemaker will continue as a teacher at Banks County, but it’s unclear whether he’ll coach. He was successful in taking over in 2016, leading the Leopards to back-to-back state playoff appearances. Banks County went 7-5 in 2016 in advancing to the second round of the state playoffs (due to a forfeit by KIPP) and 5-6 in 2017, again making the playoffs.
Banks County has gone 9-3 in Region 8-AA play in that span, including finishing as region runner-up in 2016. The Leopards will return a good number of playmakers next season, while graduating 13 seniors.