Ashtabula, OH- The Lakeside Dragons have proudly unveiled Terrence Henton as their new head football coach, a homegrown talent with a deep connection to the Ashtabula Area City School District. Graduating in 1993, Henton’s journey from a standout running back to a mentor and coach exemplifies his commitment to the community and the sport he loves.
Henton’s football legacy began with the Ashtabula Panthers, a team that later merged with the Harbor Mariners to create the formidable Lakeside Dragons. His exceptional talents and unwavering work ethic earned him a spot with the renowned Ashland Eagles, a top-tier Division 2 football program. Transitioning to wide receiver in college, Henton maximized his speed and athleticism, showcasing his versatility on the field.
The coaching trajectory in Henton’s career took flight in 2004 when he joined Lakeside as a track coach. His passion for developing young talent became evident in 2007 when he stepped into the realm of youth football coaching, leaving an indelible mark on many of the area’s best high school players.
In 2017, Henton embraced the challenge of coaching high school players as a WR/DB. His coaching acumen flourished further when he assumed the role of Lakeside junior high head football coach for two seasons starting in 2019. A pivotal moment in Henton’s coaching journey unfolded in 2022 when he joined forces with Olajuwon Cooper, Head Football Coach of the Edgewood Warriors, as Offensive Coordinator. Together, they orchestrated one of the most prolific and record-breaking offenses in Ashtabula County history, guiding Tony Hall to become the all-time leader in both single-season and career touchdowns and passing yards.
Beyond the local arena, Henton has dedicated the past four years to coaching at the Nike Elite 11 QB camps, honing the skills of some of the nation’s most promising players and programs.
Henton’s decision to stay close to home and contribute to the community that shaped him is rooted in deep pride. “IM FROM BULA!! they wrote a song about it!!! I rep Ashtabula everywhere I go. I’m not from Cleveland or Youngstown!!! IM FROM BULA!!” he declares passionately, reflecting on the cherished memories of his upbringing, from the scent of popcorn and pizza to purchasing game tickets at Betty’s beauty shop.
Coaching, for Henton, is not just a job; it’s a calling. His ability to form lasting relationships with his players is a testament to his genuine desire to positively impact the lives of youth through sport. When asked about his coaching philosophy, Henton fervently states, “I coach because of the coaches I had!! My youth coach Gary Butte took me in like a son… Roby Potts is the Nick Saban/Kirby Smart in my life.”
Acknowledging the accomplishments of his predecessor, Coach Buzz Edwards, Henton expresses deep respect for the transformative work done in turning the Lakeside Dragons’ program around. “Buzz doesn’t get enough credit for what he has done,” affirms Henton. “He will always be one of the smartest football guys in my phone!! I told him I will keep picking his brain until he says get away.”
In addition to his gratitude towards Edwards, Henton commends Edgewood’s head football coach Olajuwon Cooper and Athletic Director Steve Kray. The opportunity and trust bestowed upon him to lead the youth at Edgewood High School are sources of everlasting gratitude for Henton.
Terrence Henton is a man deeply invested in the area, the students, and the future success of the Lakeside Dragons football program. His commitment, passion, and genuine care for the community set the stage for an exciting new chapter in the Dragons’ football journey.