By Tim Chambers
All one has to do is look around to see that Johnson County High School should be thankful. Here is some sound advice; don’t take your coaching staff for granted. Just ask Sullivan East, who is feeling the pain currently of trying to find two new varsity head coaches. They are searching for a new boys’ basketball coach to replace the legendary John Dyer, and they’ll have a new football coach when they take on Johnson County in their season opener this year. Mike Locke last year’s head football coach was named as the new Athletic Director on Monday and will begin his new duties on July 1. He will have to hit his new job running as football season is just around the corner, and the Patriots don’t have anyone to fill the role that he created with his resignation. Dyer is helping head up the search for his successor along with Andy Hare.
This means that two teams on the Longhorns schedule will have new head football coaches in Sullivan East and Cloudland who tagged former middle school football coach and intern high school coach Scott Potter as their head coach. Claiborne County also has a new head coach, Nathan Medlin, which makes three schools that the Longhorns will battle with new head football coaches. Without any spring football, coaches will struggle to get their teams ready to play by mid-August. They don’t know currently if spring sports might be continued over into the summer months, something that Virginia is considering.
How would extending spring sports work?
Student-athletes are preparing for a possible sense of hope that the best-case scenario would be to play an abbreviated spring sports season in the summer. That decision probably won’t be made until May, and it’s better than telling high school seniors “look, tough luck, but we’re sorry, game over.”
Years from now and later down, the road these seniors will look back on what will be known as the lost season and wonder what might have been. Especially the Lady Longhorns softball team who was coming off one of their biggest wins ever when they knocked off Sullivan East 9-8 on the Patriots.
“I felt like we had an excellent shot at having a good season,” said head coach Greg Reece whose squad was off to a 2-0 start. “They had worked.”
How to fix it
· Prom: Every high school senior deserves to have a prom, so why not move it to June. It’s just a month past May and memories could be made one month later that would last for many years to come.
· Graduation: Every senior dreams of walking across the stage and being handed their diploma. Why not in the summer? Together and with the Lord’s help, we will defeat this virus, and things will likely go back to normal. Having a prom and graduation seem normal to me.
· Spring Sports: What would be so hard about playing a conference-games-only season? Non-league games are good to have, but they are not essential. Every game would be a cream of the crop. You could also crown a real champion. Imagine all the excitement this could create, and God only knows we could use some excitement after the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’m just an old uneducated sportswriter filled with tons of ideas. What do I know?
Tim Chambers is the sports editor at the Tomahawk. You can reach him by email at [email protected]