FARMINGTON — Spencer Adams has benefited from having a father, who championed his children’s cause, when their mother, Diane Adams, was killed in a car accident when Adams was a mere 18 months old.
Current Charleston head football coach Doug Loughridge was a 16-yearold sophomore on the Charleston football team and remembers the incident which occurred when Mike Adams was head coach at Charleston.
“It happened on Homecoming day,” Loughridge said. “That game that night was for the conference championship against Hackett.”
The team was called in and school off icials explained they could either play the game as usual or by noon the next day by Arkansas Activity Association rules, or forfeit.
“We decided to play that night. Jeff Stubblefi eld, our superintendent now, was head coach that night,” Loughridge said.
The game was a blowout in favor of Charleston because as Loughridge put it, “That’s what we knew Mike Adams would have wanted.”
Adams had just been dropped off with a babysitter and wasn’t in the car. His mom and older sister, Meredith, were en route to get Meredith fixed up as part of the Homecoming royalty but his mom never came back.
“He was just a little bitty ol’ dude,” Loughridge said. “He could just barely walk.”
Mike Adams did whatloving fathers do and took care of his children and football became a way of life for the family.
“I don’t know if I had a great lesson then as I do now, just being a dad. With kids that young I cannot imagine,” Loughridge said. “I have the utmost respect admiration for him how he handled that. He had to be a strong, strong man. He won ball game after ball game still. That was just the midst of keeping the program together.”
Adams has fond memories of growing up in Charleston and said the community rallied around the family.
“It was nice to have a big support system down there,” Adams said. “I’d go to work with him every day. I grew up crawling around his fieldhouse. Charleston, it was a good place to be.”
“He [Mike Adams] won’t tell you that, but he built a football powerhouse down in Charleston,” said Jana Harper, wife of Farmington defensive coordinator, Jay Harper.
After Charleston won the state championship in 3A football in the 2008 season, Mike Adams was invited back to speak at a banquet to commemorate the development of the program.
“He started the Charleston legacy,” Adams said. “I got to go with him and that was a lot of fun to see kind of how much they love him, still.”
Adams grew up going to every one of his dad’s games and practices as the Adams family compiled football memories during a career in coaching
“All I ever wanted to do was to go hang around him and his team,” Adams said. “I knew from a very youngage that I wanted to be a football coach, and I’m sure that comes from growing up around the game and having such a great role model like my father to try to model myself after.”
Within a few years, Mike Adams remarried and, along with bringing a mother into the household, came a new brother, Robin Adams’ son, Jon David, whose father had passed away when he was six months old.
Adams refers to the expansion of the household as on the plus side of the adversity. The brothers are three months apart and have been frequently mistaken for twins.
“We’ve grown close,” Adams said.
Adams, 25, is beginning his second year as head coach of the Farmington seventh grade football team along with serving as an assistant with the Cardinal varsity. Adams earned a degree in Kinesiology, which, according to the University of Arkansas website, is designed to prepare for a variety of career options in the vast field of Movement Science, including teaching Physical Education, coaching, analyzing and prescribing fitness programs and athletic training.
“He spent a lot of time in college learning how the body works, how to protect kids and how to get kids in shape,” Mike Adams said.
Mike Adams said experience garnered from Spencer’s college career playing football at Harding University has helped the Cardinal football program.
“He’s a great teacher of technique. He got to play two years of college and learned a lot there,” Mike Adams said. “He brings great understanding of pass protection. I’ve learned several things from his experience passprotecton-wise.”
Adams said while he doesn’t know much about upcoming opponents, neither do they have a good knowledge of the Cardinals.
“That’s the beauty of seventh grade,” Adams said.
“It is very rewarding to see these guys grow up and mature over the years they are in our program,” Adams said. “A lot of them impress me. It’s a great blessing to have kids who work hard and want to get better.”