Tuesday, August 06, 2013

SPORTS STORY >> JHS fills almost all coaching openings

Leader sports editor

Coaches come and go frequently in sports, but not very often is one school left to fill as many voids as Jacksonville had to fill this summer. JHS athletic director had the task of finding personnel for seven vacancies left at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

State championship winner Katrina Mimms left the biggest void when she stepped down as head girls basketball coach, and Wilson wasted little time filling that role. He hired former Carlisle boys coach William Rountree in June for that job.

While not a head-coaching position, Jacksonville got another big hire in Adam Thrash stepping in as offensive coordinator. Thrash replaces Barry Hickingbotham, who was also the head softball coach. Hickingbotham will be on the football and baseball staffs for the state’s other Red Devils.

Thrash is a former Pulaski Academy quarterback who attended the University of Alabama as an invited walk-on. He worked with the team in spring and summer installing a fast-paced spread offense. The Red Devils have fared well in 7-on-7 competitions this summer.

Max Hatfield and Jeremiah Clennon stepped away from football. Hatfield is now heading up the renewed JHS golf program while Clennon is focusing on baseball’s off-season.

Former Jacksonville star running back Terrod Hatcher takes over Hatfield’s role as head ninth-grade coach. Hatcher was an assistant for Russell during his two years at North Pulaski, and took over for Russell as NPHS head coach for one year after Russell took the Jacksonville job.

The ninth-grade boys also get a new basketball coach after the departure of Tirrell Brown, who left JHS to take high-school positions in football and basketball at North Pulaski. Lenny Cooper comes to Jacksonville from Oklahoma.

The ninth-grade girls get a new head coach as well. Wilson stepped in last year and filled the role that was vacated too late in the summer to find a replacement. This year, Crystal Scott takes over the JHS freshmen after spending one year as athletic director and head coach at Pine Bluff Dollarway High School. She was also a head basketball coach at Stuttgart and coached track at Dollarway.

Toya Allen also comes from Dollarway as the new middle school assistant girls coach to Susan Cheatham.

Volleyball coach Kendra Sauheaver gets a new assistant, another former Devil. Whitney Conrade played at North Pulaski and Jacksonville.

Josh Nation also moves from assistant football coach to head coach at JMS. Nation was also an assistant high-school softball coach and will continue in that role. There is still an opening for the head softball coaching position.