Northview Academy names remaining coaches
The athletic staff at the new Northview Academy is nearly complete.
With football, basketball and baseball coaches already determined, Principal Greg Clark shared the names of his hires for softball, golf, volleyball, cross country and track and field last week.
Jessica Randles will lead the school’s softball program. Jennifer Davis Blanchard will guide the golf team. Kim Jenkins will handle volleyball duties. Scott Nicholson will coach cross county, and head football coach Todd Loveday will take the track and field team.
“I’m very happy with the group (of coaches) that we’ve got,” Clark said last Friday. “We’ve gotten good quality people that want to be here and want to grow programs, and they’re committed to doing it. They’re excited.
“And the community support for all of them has been tremendous,” he continued. “They’re just so excited and willing to help do anything. It’s really been unbelievable. Everything’s going well.”
Jessica Randles, who’s married to new Northview baseball coach Daryl Randles, brings some nice credentials to the women’s diamond.
“She played one year at ETSU,” Clark said. “And she has been coaching middle school softball at North Middle School in Loudon County.”
A certified teacher who’s spent the last few years teaching at North, Randles received a scholarship to ETSU after a stellar softball career at William Blount.
With her connections in the middle school softball game in the Knoxville area and her experience, Clark said he’s confident Randles will be able to teach the players and schedule the games necessary to build a program for the Lady Cougars.
Jennifer Blanchard is better known to many as Jennifer Davis, the 2001 state A/AA champion golfer at Seymour High School who went on to play at the University of Tennessee.
Blanchard was a four-time all-state selection while at Seymour, and in addition to her state title was a two-time runner-up. She won the Sevier County girls championship 2000-2002 and, competing against the boys, finished as runner-up in 2003.
She was an Academic All-SEC team member at UT and was on the SEC Honor Roll each year.
“She’s an outstanding person, she teaches up in Sevierville. She’s a great golfer herself, obviously. She’s had some meetings (with potential players) and got some interest there.”
Blanchard is a second grade teacher at Sevierville Primary.
Kim Jenkins, who’s a fourth grade teacher at Northview Intermediate, will coach the Lady Cougars volleyball team.
“They’ve already had the try-outs and they’ll start some activities July 9th after the (TSSAA) dead period,” Clark said.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Jenkins said Thursday. “We have to put both the teams together, a freshman team that will play a JV schedule and a middle school team that will play a regular middle school schedule.”
But Jenkins, who played three years at Raleigh-Egypt High School in Memphis before coming to play at Maryville College, should be up to that challenge.
An assistant at Northview Middle School last season, along with Megan Huffaker, who’ll assist her this season at the Academy, Jenkins said she’s had a lot of interest from students in coming out to play.
“We had almost 35 girls come out to try out, and the hardest thing was to have to cut a few kids,” she said. “We’ve got 13 freshmen, and some of them are pretty advanced, and I’ve got some eighth graders that have potential.
“My seventh graders are going to be learning bump, set and pass — fundamental stuff — but they’re going to (several camps), and we’ve got some very supportive parents.”
Scott Nicholson, who’s previously coached volleyball at Northview Middle, will head up the Academy’s cross country program.
“He’s actually had some good ideas,” Clark said. “They’ve been running over there at the community park.”
Nicholson has most recently been a P.E. teacher at Northview Middle School. Maggie Yoakum, who’ll teach at the Academy, will serve as Nicholson’s assistant.
Track and field
Todd Loveday, the school’s head football coach, will also handle track and field.
Loveday was strongly involved in strength and conditioning and track and field in his tenure as a coach and athletic director at Sevier County High School.
SCHS has long used its track and field program to cross-train their football athletes, which has resulted in strong gains in team speed and become a cornerstone of the school’s athletics.