Track and field hires several new coaches

Track and field hires several new coaches

Rebekah Burgweger

New throwing coach Roxxanne Grizzle is one of several new additions to the track and field coaching staff.

Ben Patton, Cartoonist

De Soto High School athletes have a new team of track and field coaches to look forward to this coming season, as Chris McAfee returns as head coach.

McAfee is taking over the position previously held by Brian Dinkel.

“It seemed to be a natural transition for me to go back,” McAfee said. “At the end of last season it was pretty much a given I would be given the position.”

Dinkel had always maintained a standard of excellence for the team, and McAfee wishes to grow on that success.

“I really just hope to continue to improve on the stuff coach Dinkel helped get started,” McAfee said.

McAfee is joined this season by three new faces to track staff.

“Ali Shaffer, who we’re all familiar with, is our new jumps coach,” McAfee said. “Katie Wilbur is our sprints and hurdles coach. She teaches over at Monticello [Elementary School], where it’s her first year teaching. She’s very energetic and will bring a lot of passion to the team.”

Last but not least, the throwing coach position has been filled by nationally-ranked javelin thrower and former DHS student Roxxane Grizzle.

Grizzle has been a two-time Gatorade athlete of the year and was a two-time state champion track athlete  in high school, throwing over 150 feet.

“We lost three really great coaches,” McAfee said. “But we’ve been fortunate enough to replace them with three, new, extremely talented coaches.”

Despite the strong coaching staff, McAfee still voiced his concerns about the turnout of students.

“We need to get more kids out,” McAfee said. “I’m afraid a lot of the kids are going to learn about the new coaches and be hesitant about going out, which they shouldn’t be, because the new  are great.”

Although the potential of a poor student turnout ever present,  McAfee has an optimistic feeling about the upcoming season.

“We’ll be able to do pretty well on the girls’ side,” McAfee said. “We lost a lot of good guys at the end of last season, but I expect we’ll be pleasantly surprised with how well they’ll do.”