GRAY’S CREEK AD TROY LINDSEY ANNOUNCES COACHES CHANGES FOR 2019-2020
Gray’s Creek Athletic Director Troy Lindsey is busy working on getting his administrative tasks completed with respect to the coaching changes for the 2019-2020 school year. This includes ensuring that all coaches have completed all of their coaching requirements, such as online course requirements from the NC High School Athletic Associate and the National Federation of State High School Associations, CPR certifications and bus licensing.
Lindsey says that he’s always felt pretty good about his coach staff. “We’ve had a few people that either left the school or decided not to coach anymore”, he explained. “I feel really good about our coaching staff this year and now it’s just a matter of giving everyone the resources they need to be successful”, he added.
Head Coach David Lovette has acquired two new coaches, who will work on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Terry Rea comes to us from Weir High School in Weirton, West Virginia where he served as Defensive Coordinator for the 2014 season and through 2018. Prior to working at Weir High School, he compiled several years of coaching experience at Brook High School in Wellsburg, West Virginia. Rea will take on the defensive coordinator role here at Gray’s Creek. “Terry is doing a great job for us”, explains Lovette. “Other than being from West Virginia, I really like him”, Lovette adds in jest.
Lovette also picked up Coach Taurius Baker from West Bladen. Most recently, Baker served as Defensive Coordinator and Head JV Football Coach at West Bladen High School. He has also coached football for several years in neighboring Robeson County. He will be coaching the outside linebackers here at The Creek and according to Lovette, “Baker was a great pickup for us”. Baker told us that he is “so blessed to be part of such an organized and well-run football program”. “I have learned so much from David and Terry and I am so grateful”, says Baker.
Junior Varsity Cheer has a new addition in Coach Camellia Ellis. Ellis comes to The Creek from West Bladen High School where she served as Junior Varsity Cheer Coach for three years. “I am so pleased with the level of talent and athleticism here at Gray’s Creek”, says Ellis. “We have a great group of girls and I’m excited to be working with such a great cheer program”, she added. Ellis will coach Cheer through the football season and continue through the basketball season. She has committed to assisting the varsity cheer coach with continuing to build a first class Cheer program at the Creek by focusing on developing talent, skill, and leadership at the Junior Varsity level.
The recent exit from Gray’s Creek High School by Coach Rachel Hendrickson left a major vacuum with respect to Cross Country. So Lindsey recruited Head Girls Basketball Coach Nick Lewis Coach to lead the boys. Lindsey also recruited Coach Melanie Smith (shown left), who comes to us from Westover High School, to lead the girls. Prior to Westover High School, she coached soccer and lacrosse at Plantation High School in Plantation, Fl.
Smith has spent quite a bit of time getting to know her athletes. “From what I can tell, the team was competitive in the conference last year and we want to continue that trend for the 2019 season”, says Smith. She further explains, “I think we have some talented runners and the season should be very interesting”.
Coach Lewis, in addition to heading the girls basketball program will switch from Track and Field, where he coached throwers and jumpers. “We plan to be very competitive in the conference this year”, says Lewis. “We have several experienced runners returning”, he adds.
Gray’s Creek Athletic Director Troy Lindsey has signed Coach Kris Williams as the new bowling coach. Coach Williams comes to us from West Bladen High School where he served as Head Varsity Football Coach for 2 years and Assistant Varsity Football Coach for 5 years. Williams also headed up the Junior Varsity football team for 3 years prior to getting the nod for Varsity Head. In addition to coaching bowling, Williams will assist with the football program under the leadership of Coach David Lovette.
“I want to achieve two goals for the season”, explains Williams. “I want to make sure we have fun but at the same time be competitive in the conference”, he added.
The girls basketball program has picked up two new coaches. Coach Brandon Locklear will serve as a varsity assistant and Jason Fitch will lead the girls JV program. Coach Locklear comes to The Creek from Terry Sanford High School where he worked as a JV assistant and helped with the varsity program as well. Prior to coaching at Terry Sanford, Locklear spent a year assisting with the JV and Varsity programs at Pinecrest High School in Moore County.
Coach Fitch has several years of experience coaching boys to include 10 and Under in Swampscott, MA. He has also coached AAU 14 and Under boys here in Fayetteville with Flight 22 and Carolina Venom. He has volunteered for four years at the Hope Mills Recreation Center coaching 12 and Under and 14 and Under boys and girls. Coach Fitch believes that there is an opportunity to build in some areas and rebuild in other areas with respect to the girls basketball program here at Gray’s Creek. “I’m looking forward to building necessary skills and fundamentals as well as leadership with the girls program”, explains Fitch.
Coach Lewis is excited to add Fitch to his staff with his varied coaching experiencing. “I believe Coach Fitch will really help us with developing our young girls in our JV program”, says Varsity Head Coach Nick Lewis. “I’m looking forward to working with our new staff additions”, he added.
Track and Field
With Coach Rachel Hendrickson leaving Gray’s Creek, Coach Nick Meininger stepping down to focus more on football, and Coach Nick Lewis moving to Cross Country, there was a huge hole left in the Track and Field program. So Lindsey asked JV Boys Basketball Coach Rick Rhoda to head up the program. Being a team player, Rhoda promptly agreed.
Upon accepting the challenge to head up Track and Field, Rhoda promptly made it his mission to recruit his old colleague from West Bladen, Coach Taurius Baker. He enlisted the help of Lindsey and Lovette, who just happened to need another football coach on the defensive side. After just a handful of conversations among coaches and Lindsey, Baker accepted a head coaching position with the Track and Field program. “I am so excited about working with so many talented athletes at Gray’s Creek”, says Baker.
Lindsey, realizing that the program boasts upwards of 90 plus athletes, added Coach Terry Rea, who will focus on throwers and Coach Melanie Smith, who will focus on jumpers and hurdlers. Both Smith and Rea will be valued additions to the Track and Field program.
Rhoda believes that Gray’s Creek has the athletes to be a very competitive Track and Field program. He says that they will add off-season workouts to focus on teaching form and technique as well as strength and conditioning. “I believe that student-athletes need to understand how a comprehensive approach to preparation will help them be more competitive”, says Rhoda. “And since there is not much time during the season to focus on all that is required to be competitive, our coaches will need to sacrifice just 1 or 2 hours each – per week for off-season workouts”, he added. Rhoda explains that he has had several meetings with Lindsey to discuss the program’s many needs with respect to equipment. “Our athletic director has been very helpful and supportive in procuring the equipment we will need to be competitive”, says Rhoda. “Our ultimate goal is to hang some banners in the gym”, he added.