Northview chooses Randles for baseball job
For years Daryl Randles has been the top assistant for a highly successful Seymour Eagles baseball team. Now he’s getting a shot to run his own program.
Randles, 32, a 1998 graduate of Sevier County High School, will grow the Northview Academy Cougars squad from the ground up, and he’s obviously grateful for the opportunity.
“I’m pretty excited,” Randles said Tuesday. “I expect it to be a little challenge, (but) we’ve had a pretty good turnout of kids that are involved with Sevierville Little League and a couple of kids that have played a little tournament baseball.”
Randles grew up in the Kodak area, attending Northview schools, so the hiring to pilot the new program is a natural fit.
“I grew up in Kodak, and I live in my grandma and grandpa’s house, just a few blocks up from where I grew up,” he said. “I went to Northview all through grade school, and I’m excited about being a Kodak guy.
“That was one of the first things I told the parents. This is my home. This is where I grew up, and this is where I’d like to stay. I’m going to be loyal to the program.”
A collegiate player at Maryville College, Randles started coaching under Scott Norman at Seymour High School in 2004.
Since then he’s been on the staff of two teams that made the TSSAA State Tournament (2004, 2007) and helped the Eagles to a successful transition from AA baseball to AAA competition in 2009.
Randles said building a program from scratch is an exciting challenge.
“Everything about it, you get to put your hand on it as to what it’s going to be,” he said. “I’ve had an pop to be a part of a good program, and I’ll take a lot of the things I’ve learned with that and put it into (action) here.”
At the same time, he knows it will take time.
“Early on we’re going to be playing a JV schedule, so I’ll have the freedom to schedule who I want to,” he said. “Obviously I’m not going to go out there and try to schedule Farragut and Bearden. We’ll play the local teams … Scott (Norman, at Seymour) said I can come play him. And I want to go play Sevier County, go play Pigeen Forge. Those are good programs and we can cut our teeth that way. There’s plenty of good baseball right here around us.”
So far it seems as though Randles excitement about the team and the communities excitement about the spanking new school are having a positive effect on baseball.
“We had 28 kids at first workout,” Randles said. “We’ve had a pretty good outpouring (of interest). The kids are excited about it, they’re working hard already.
“There are plenty of good kids showing up. The parents are excited, I’m excited, and the kids are excited. But we’ve still got months to wait and see where we’re going to be at.
“I’ve always been kind of the rah-rah guy at Seymour, and now I’ve got the opportunity to be that here.”
Northview Academy will play their first junior varsity and middle school seasons next spring. After two seasons of JV ball, the high school team will begin varsity play in the spring of 2016.