There’s been a lot of talk this pre-season about MCHS varsity sports, but let’s not forget about our future stars and Morgan County Middle School. Athletic Director Milfred Franklin couldn’t say enough about this year’s coaching staff. He commented, “One thing I’m particularly proud of is that all of our coaches have instilled a winning and competitive attitude that will carry them throughout their student-athlete careers and beyond.”
New to the staff will be former Morgan County softball great Shelly Hilsman taking over the Middle School softball program. Franklin commented, “We are excited to bring back one of our finest softball players to ever come through the Morgan County softball program. I am looking forward to her instilling her grit and tenacity she displayed through high school to a young and talented group she will be coaching.”
The cross-country program will also be sporting a couple of new faces. Even though Elizabeth Vice and Griffin Gardner have both served in other coaching capacities (track and girls’ soccer), this will be their first year to head up a growing sport in our county. Franklin again observed, “Both of them display the type of enthusiasm and dedication needed to help our cross-country program flourish. They have dedicated a lot of time over the summer with workouts.”
Head football coach Aaron Paul is no stranger to the Middle and High School sporting programs. He has taken the boys’ soccer program at MCHS to new heights, and has coached the kickers for varsity football for the past three years. “Coach Paul is coming into his third year as our head football coach. He has come in and done a tremendous job with the Middle School program. His coaching has had a direct effect on the success of the High School program over that time,” said Franklin.
The cheerleading program will again be under the leadership of Hillary Reaves and Emily Barrett. These two second-year coaches are making their mark on that program. Franklin said, “As former students of mine, it is especially rewarding to see them take over a program and continue to create an exciting atmosphere around cheerleading.” Both these young ladies were former cheerleaders at MCMS and MCHS.
The volleyball team will again be in great hands with the return of Angela Riden Stapleton and Alan Shultz as coaches. Both actually started the program at MCMS. Franklin stated, “These two coaches have taken the program from its infancy four years ago and created a program that has developed into a competitive program every year. Along with that, they have fed the High School team with girls ready to step into the varsity and JV levels of play.”
Franklin has done an excellent job of putting the pieces together at MCMS to provide the student-athletes the best coaching they could possibly receive. Don’t forget about these youngsters that will be our future Bulldog stars. Get out and support them whenever you get a chance. You won’t be disappointed.