Things are going to look a little different at the high schools in Elkton, Yoncalla and Drain next school year.
It has been a summer of change at the area small high schools as coaches and athletic directors have been jumbled around. Elkton and Yoncalla will both enter the year with new athletic directors while there are new coaches at both North Douglas and Elkton.
In Elkton, last year’s principal/athletic director James Ellis has gone to Days Creek. In his place steps Andy Boe who now holds the position of superintendent, principal (at both the high school and grade school) and athletic director.
“It will be a busy year.We did something a little bit different. We hired an athletic director secretary position. And so that position will handle most of the things that I’m not good at,” said Boe with a laugh. “Like organization and planning, those sort of things.”
Assisting Boe in his first time as AD will be Laurie Winslow as athletics secretary. The other big change for the Elks is the departure of football and baseball coach Bill Shaw who is headed to Reedsport. Replacing Shaw as football coach will be Jeremy Lockhart.
Over in Yoncalla, Peter James was recently named athletic director for Yoncalla High School. James was applying for the job as social studies teacher when he was asked if he would also consider taking the role of athletic director.
“Small schools, they like to combine something like that. At first I was blown away, I was like, ‘Oh wow, I would love to do that,’” said James in a phone interview last Thursday.
What stood out about Yoncalla to James is the small-town community that comes with the school. James attended the slightly larger Douglas High School and has most recently been working at Days Creek (while still living in Eugene).
While James is coming in brand new to the community and without prior experience as an AD, he is excited to be immersed in all things Yoncalla.
“Getting involved in the community. Meeting the coaches, meeting the parents, meeting the kids. Letting them know that I’m available for them and I want them to succeed on and off the field,” James said of what he is most excited about in this new position. “I like small communities for that reason. Getting to know people probably is what excites me the most. I love meeting new people and learning their experiences and learning mine and working together.”
Down the road in Drain, athletic director JJ Mast is adding the role of football coach back to his list of responsibilities. Mast most recently coached the team two seasons ago but last year the Warriors were coached by Rocky Rodgers who is now an assistant coach.
The Warriors also have a coaching change for the volleyball team as Anne Campbell has retired as head coach. Campbell was in the program for 16 years with 11 seasons as head coach. North Douglas has found success in those seasons finishing as high as second in state in 2016. The team has not lost a regular season league match since 2013.
Replacing Campbell as head coach will be Emily Reed.