Contact: Dean Jackson Office of Public Information
Phone: 770.254.2736
Fax: 770.254.2807

Press Release - January 20, 2017

John Small named new head coach of East Coweta Indians football

The Coweta County School System Board of Education has named John Small as the new head coach for the East Coweta High School football program.

The board met in called session at the 237 Jackson Street Board of Education office on Friday, January 20, to take action on Small’s appointment. Small – currently the head coach of South Gwinnett High School’s football program – will become the Indian’s new head coach.  He follows Steve Pardue, who announced earlier that he was retiring after three years as the ECHS head coach.

“We wish nothing but the best for Coach Steve Pardue in his retirement. He has been an incredible leader of our football program here at East Coweta High School,” said ECHS Principal Steve Allen.  “We are also thrilled to have coach John Small join the Indian nation. I believe he will continue to carry on the tradition that we have here at ECHS, and he is coming with a strong commitment to our students, school and community.”

John Small has been the head football coach at South Gwinnett High School since 2005, after taking over for head coach T. McFerrin. Small led the South Gwinnett Comets to six state playoff appearances, including a 2009 season when they went 10-2. It marked just the fourth time since 1957 that the school’s football program reached double figures in wins.

Small had 9-3 records in 2010 and 2012 — two of only three nine-win seasons in Comet history. His final South team went 8-4, finished as the No. 2 seed in Region 8-AAAAAAA and reached the second round of the Class 7-A state playoffs. In 12 seasons at SGHS, Small had a 68-62 record and sent more than 120 players to the college level.

Small played college football at West Georgia and spent 15 of his 18 years in coaching at South Gwinnett. After two seasons of coaching at West Georgia he became an assistant at SGHS for three years and then an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Oconee County for three seasons before being hired as McFerrin’s replacement.

Small’s father, also John Small, played for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, who made him their first-round pick (12th overall) in 1970. He passed away in 2012.

ECHS Head Coach John Small 

Wins 2017 Coweta County Spelling Bee


Arnall Middle School student Maanas Ravishankar won the Coweta County School System’s district-wide Spelling Bee, held at the Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Thursday, January 12.

Ravishankar - a 6th grader at Arnall - became Coweta County’s 2017 spelling champion in the 13th round of the annual competition, after sparring with Moreland Elementary School 5th grader Andrew Hunter for several rounds.

Ravishankar correctly spelled “illustrious” and “anticipatory” for the win. It was the first time the Arnall student competed in the annual county-level bee, and the second time Hunter represented Moreland at that level.

This year’s spelling bee winner and runner-up each received a Kindle Fire, provided by bee sponsor BB&T of Newnan and awarded by Garnett Reynolds.

Coweta’s annual spelling bee began with 25 competitors, from 4th through 8th grade – the winners of school spelling bees held in Coweta County’s 19 elementary schools and 6 middle schools.

The 25 competitors at Monday’s bee were all winners of their own school spelling bees, which were held earlier in the school year. The winners and runners-up at this year school spelling bees were:



2017 School Winners

2017 Runners-up

Arbor Springs Elementary

Ian McFall

Luke Johnson

Arnco-Sargent Elementary

Dasha Smallwood

Abby Stewart

Atkinson Elementary

Kylee Thacker

Alexander Lund

Brooks Elementary

Caroline Brown

Alexis Robinson

Canongate Elementary

Alicia Nuno

Vincent Brown

Eastside Elementary

Madison Anderson

Coralyn Williams

Elm Street Elementary

Clinton Hall

Ariel Alverson

Glanton Elementary

Kendarius Ward

Virginia Quintanilla

Jefferson Parkway Elementary

Fatima Bautista

Sémaj Neal

Moreland Elementary

Andrew Hunter

Alex Fass

Newnan Crossing Elementary

AJ Soutter

Jamari Boyd

Northside Elementary

Cameron Mitchell

Joseph Lance

Poplar Road Elementary

Mick Ross

Macie Taylor

Ruth Hill Elementary

Damaya Harris

Gauge McGuire

Thomas Crossroads Elementary

Mikayla Wilkie

Cheyenne Wolfe

Welch Elementary

Mason Hall

David Waters

Western Elementary

Abbigail McCurry

Charleston Long

White Oak Elementary

Carson Westerman

Younwoo Yi

Willis Road Elementary

Dillon Heard

Hannah Smith

Arnall Middle

Maanas Ravishankar

Alexis Bailey

East Coweta Middle

Kenneth Hawk

Shawn Littlefield

Evans Middle

Crystalyn Driver

Rachel Mui

Lee Middle

McKenzie Mercer

Natalia Gumbs

Madras Middle

McKinley Gore

Rose Harris

Smokey Road Middle

Ryan Cain

Alyssa Cody


Principals Aaron Corley of Ruth Hill Elementary School, Julie Durrance of Arbor Springs Elementary School, and Cindy Bennett of Lee Middle School served as judges, and Dean Jackson served as pronouncer, for Thursday’s competition.

Cutline: Arnall Middle School 6th grader  Maanas Ravishankar won Coweta County’s 2017 district-wide Spelling Bee, held at the Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on January 12. Ravishankar, left, appears with runner-up, Andrew Hunter – a Moreland Elementary School 5th grader - right.


Cutline: Coweta County School System’s 2017 Spelling Bee winner Maanas Ravishankar, left, and county runner-up Andrew Hunter, right are awarded prizes by Garnet Reynolds, of BB&T of Newnan, center, at the January 13 spelling bee. BB&T sponsored the annual county bee, which was held at the school system’s Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts