Sonoraville High has added some new faces to their athletic department recently that they hope will continue and build on the success the program has achieved recently.
Sonoraville has made a variety of coaching moves over the past few weeks, including hiring a new head cheerleading coach, new head volleyball coach and new football defensive coordinator, among others.
Veteran cheerleading coach Ginger Reeves was approved as the new Sonoraville cheerleading head coach last Tuesday at the Gordon County Schools Board Meeting. Reeves comes to the Phoenix program after many years at Calhoun High, including winning six state titles while leading the competition program.
Reeves, who will teach at Red Bud Middle School next year, said she is excited about the new challenge and fresh start at Sonoraville.
“To be able to start a program back from scratch has been a challenge, and it was a decision that was not made easily due to the fact that I was 25 years into my time at Calhoun High. My daughter graduated from Calhoun, but my son did graduate from Sonoraville. So, it was a positive change for him, and I knew it could be a positive change for me as well. I needed a fresh start with people that I knew wanted me and needed me. We’ve had two days of tryout practice right now, and we’ve had 53 girls that are trying out for spirit, basketball, football and competition. I do believe it’s going to be an eye-opener for the girls and the parents in the community. It’s going to be a good eye-opener…they do need to be challenged. The high expectations are there. They had a great spirit program before with lots of girls involved, but it’s time for them to put Sonoraville’s name out on the map so the kids can have the same opportunities in cheerleading that our neighboring schools have.”
Reeves said she has named Taylor Kile, a teacher at Fairmount Elementary and former Gordon Central cheerleader, as her assistant coach. The veteran coach added that there was a lot of factors that played a part in the decision to make the move from Calhoun to Sonoraville.
“When I decided to resign from coaching Spirit (at Calhoun), the decision was very hard whether I was going to stay and do Competition and not the Spirit part at Calhoun. I do believe they need to go hand in hand. The same coach needs to have that program to keep it strong because it is the same season. The same expectations need to be for all three teams, football, basketball and competition. One coach needs to be in charge of that although you have your assistants to help as well. Things started occurring in Calhoun City Schools where my decision were not being validated so the decision was made for me to not do competition as well. So, the only thing left was could I handle staying there after 25 years and not be supported with my cheerleading program, resign from it, and could I stay and teach? And I couldn’t. It wasn’t one incident…it’s not even one person. It’s a group of people that made the decision to take the decision-making out of a coach’s hands and into the hands of the administrators, which is not where it’s supposed to be. I had some choices to make from where to go. I talked to my past and present cheerleaders because I felt like they needed to know that I wasn’t leaving them, that I wasn’t trying to abandon them. It’s always been about them. They are perfectly fine with me being here and are happy that I’m going to start fresh here and start a program up to be competitive.”
Also at the Board Meeting last Tuesday, Ricky Ross was approved as the new defensive coordinator as he will work under new head coach Denver Pate, who took over the program in late April. Ross was most recently the defensive coordinator at McCallie in Chattanooga, but has also been a head coach at Marion County. Before that, he spent a season as an assistant coach at Mary Persons, and was an assistant coach at Calhoun from 2005-2012.
Ross said the opportunity at Sonoraville was one that he and his family jumped on as soon as they knew about it because the area is home to them.
“We lived here for 10 years and know lots of people so we knew what we were getting by coming back here,” said Ross. “We look at this area as home. My son has lots of friends here. When this opportunity presented itself, it was a really easy decision. We knew where we wanted to be.
Ross has stepped right in and started working with the team as they began Spring Practice last Monday. He said he’s been very pleased with what he has seen from the players so far and Pate.
“We’ve had great effort from the kids,” said Ross. “Kids in general want to work hard to please you as a coach, and I look forward to developing those relationships, growing them as players and young men and accomplishing our goals here.
“(Coach Pate) has been really good to me and has done a good job of being organized and giving a clear path of what he wants and where he wants this team to be. It’s been really easy for me to come right in and get to work with him. That’s what any employee wants is to know clearly what their boss wants from them.”
Joining Ross as new additions to Pate’s staff is assistant coaches Nathan Schuster and William Bryant. Schuster is a recent graduate of Berry College and a former quarterback at Chattooga High. Bryant will move up to work on the high school staff after being a coach at Red Bud Middle the past few years.
Another new hire was made to lead Sonoraville High volleyball, but it is more of a return as former coach Trace Vaughn will move back into the head role. Vaughn led the Lady Phoenix to consistent success during his time leading the program, including four straight Area titles before stepping down prior to last season. He takes over for Xandy (Green) Lundberg who kept the program at a high level, winning another Area title, last season during her one year on the job.
“We are very appreciative of all (Xandy) has done this year, and we hope she will come back to us down the road,” said Vaughn. “It has been quite a year for me, but I am excited to get back into doing what I love.
“It feels good to be back, and with the young talent we have, I feel the excitement building again already.”
A meet and greet was held on Tuesday night to introduce the new athletic staff additions to the Sonoraville community. Sonoraville High athletic director Brent Mashburn said he is looking forward to seeing what the new coaches can do this coming year.
“I am really excited to add Coach Ross, Coach Reeves and Coach Vaughn to our coaching staff, along with all the other great coaches we have,” said Mashburn. “The addition of these three proven winners will be a great benefit to our athletic programs as we continue to strive for athletic excellence.”