Manchester Hires Demonta Prather As New Football Coach

Manchester has their new head coach as it was announced Tuesday night that defensive coordinator Demonta Prather would be promoted to the role. After former head coach Stephen Holmes stepped down and accepted the Pike County head coaching job, Prather was named interim head coach on February 1st. Prather also was named head basketball coach last March and led the Blue Devils to a 21-9 record and a state championship appearance this season.

Prather is an alum of Manchester High School, knows the city and the community and played in the 2012 2A basketball state championship game against Laney.

“We lost that game my senior year,” Prather said with a borderline grimace on his face outside the Fort Valley State locker room as he team celebrated inside following the Blue Devils semifinals victory this year. “It’s a small community, Manchester, and we all support each other.”

He was hired to the Blue Devils staff in 2021 and has been a part of the program’s turnaround. The Blue Devils went 7-5 in 2021-2022, 8-4 in 2022-2023, and 11-3 in 2023-2024. Manchester reached the GHSA state championship against rival Bowdon before losing 28-27 in an exhilarating game.  Manchester last won a football state championship in 1997.

He played football at Fort Valley State University. In his four-year playing career, he registered 70 tackles, four tackles for loss, a sack and an interception in 26 career games. Prather also won a SIAC Conference Championship as a player. After his playing days concluded, Prather was named defensive backs coach and guided All-SIAC defensive backs Zach Anderson and Camron Young to first team and Nicco Whigham garnered second-team honors. He also served in a prominent role on special teams.

Before moving on to the high school coaching ranks, Prather received a bachelor’s and master’s in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Mathematics and Science.

In 2022, he was named a finalist for Parker Resources assistant coach of the year for Class A-D2. In 2023, Prather helped guide Manchester to five shutouts. In eight of the 14 games played this season Manchester held opponents to seven points or less. The Blue Devils gave up an average of 9.42 points per game. His defense racked up 38.5 sacks and was led by five-star Justus Terry who finished with 13 sacks. Zyterrious Gray and Jaden Revell had six sacks each. Prather’s secondary was also elite with five players finishing with multiple interceptions in 2023.

Manchester hires from within the program and has a coach with a lot of success on the collegiate level and on the prep level, and is a elite defensive coach capable of producing marquee players.

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