ROANOKE, Va. – When you think of Galax football, you think of a rugged, hard-working blue-collar style of play. That’s been thanks, in large part, to coach Mark Dixon who led the Maroon Tide for 10 years. Now, he’s looking forward to bringing that same tenacious spirit to Pulaski County.
“It’s one of the elite jobs in the state of Virginia. The support is amazing, the community is amazing,” said Dixon.
Numbers don’t lie, and that’s true in Dixon’s case. At Galax, he held a winning record each season, accumulated 101 wins and the program made three state finals appearances, including a state title win in 2015.
As he shifts to Pulaski County, Dixon says he feels nervous as he strives to live up to the tradition-rich football program that was once led by VHSL Hall of Famer, Joel Hicks.
“It’s trying to prepare more and understand what’s at stake for the community and especially for the kids at Pulaski County,” Dixon said.
The support staff and assistant coaches will all be returning, something Dixon believes will help with any growing pains.
“When I came to Galax the big thing was ‘You’re coming from professional football. This won’t work in single A.’ What’s ironic is now it’s the other way. ‘You’ve been in single-A and now you’re going 4A.’ So no matter which way you go there’s these questions but at the end of the day it’s blocking and it’s tackling,” said Dixon.
And doing so with max effort and Cougar Pride.
“I want the people to be proud of the way we play, that we’re physical and that we represent them and our community. We’re a mirror image of the community--physical, tough and motivated. And the other thing is I want to make sure all these kids get to play in really big games,” Dixon said.