Summer changes can happen in athletic programs, but for Melissa consistency has been the key for several seasons. This year, there was just one big change in staffing, and that was at the golfing coach position.
"Our high school staff had one major change, Tracy Jones has retired and entered into private business after two very successful years leading our Lady Cardinal golf program and coaching middle school volleyball and basketball," girls athletic director Claude Webb said. "Weston Bartlett will now coach both our boys and girls golf teams."
Bartlett was in Anna last year.
Coach Whitney Nelson is still the volleyball coach, Michael Bardgett heads up cross country and track, Wendy Flynn (formerly Lowe) is head softball coach, Rick Gagarin is head wrestling coach and Webb is head basketball coach.
Coach Spruiell coaches junior varsity volleyball and basketball and assists in track. Clint Sadler coaches girls (and boys) tennis as Melissa will play a Fall tennis schedule this year. Coach Dennis coaches girls (and boys) power lifting.
"We have made a few changes at the middle school," Webb said. "Coach Joanna Carr is new and will coach eighth grade volleyball, basketball and track."
Another new coach is Amanda Ellis, who will coach middle school cross country, basketball and track. Coach Heather Lane will continue as a seventh grade coach in volleyball, basketball and track. Gagarin will also coach middle school volleyball and basketball.
Some players and parents hoped that the hiring of Anna head soccer coach Manual Avila meant that the Cardinals were starting a soccer program this year. However, Webb said that is still in the works but may appear as early as next seasonm — and only if "a lot of other things fall into place."
"Manny was hired as a teacher by our principal," Webb said. "When the time comes to hire soccer coaches, he will be able to apply for a position if he so desires."