For the foreseeable future, there won’t be any balls hit over the fences at the Trigg County Recreation Complex, but one thing is for sure: the Wildcats hit a home run with the hiring of former Anderson County football coach Mark Peach.
Peach was an institution on the sideline for the Bearcats since 2005, but unfortunately, Anderson County superintendent Sheila Mitchell felt the need to try and tarnish that legacy ... We’ll get to that in a bit.
Trigg County principal Shannon Burcham said they had more than a dozen applicants for the position of head football coach, and after interviewing several, they landed on Peach.
What Peach did on and off the field for the Bearcats was something that should be noticed, and when it hit the Twittersphere Monday that he was the next man to lead the Wildcats, it was clear Cadiz was going to be in good hands on Friday nights next season.
The Bearcats were down last season and finished 4-7, but the season before they went 10-1 after falling to Highlands in the first round of the Class 5A State Playoffs.
During that year, the Bearcats ran for nearly 3,000 rushing yards as Charles Collins went for 1,474 and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
Last season, they didn’t have a rusher go over 1,000 yards, but they still ran for nearly 1,600 yards as a team while Jagger Gillis threw for 1,128 yards and seven touchdowns.
Peach knows there’s talent in Trigg County and he’s going to find it, but the next step for the veteran coach is finding a staff that fits his ideology.
Peach’s now-former staff at Anderson County has one tie to the area, as one of the coaches, Chris Ezell, is the brother of Hopkinsville offensive line coach Jacob Ezell.
Other than that, Peach’s only ties to the area are a couple of games coached against the Wildcats and a vacation at the lakes, which he said was great because, honestly, who doesn’t enjoy the lakes during the summer, but I digress.
The Wildcats lost a lot of production from last season, but they still have several young pieces that should stand out for Peach next year.
Kendric Adams, Jaquellus Martin, Khyran Vaughn, Keon Thompson, Jacob Johnson and Matt Alex Ladd will all play leadership roles next season, but they’ll also be a force to be reckoned with on the field.
Now to Mitchell’s comments regarding her apparent dismissal of Peach earlier this season.
To be frank, they were ridiculous, out of line, petty and just in bad form, as Peach put Anderson County football on the map for more than a decade.
She took the 114 wins Peach accumulated at the helm of the Bearcats and threw them in the garbage, and while she hopes they’ll never be seen again, the impact he left on the program will still be there, much to her dismay.
She said in her statement, that not one single player or parent reached out to her on her decision. Why does that matter? Peach knows what he meant to those athletes, and I’m sure that’s good enough for him.
A statement she could and should have made would have said how appreciative she was of Peach’s service to the district. She could have thanked him for 114 wins and a state title appearance. She could have wished him luck in his new position as it’s not often a coach is at a school for as long as Peach was at Anderson, but she didn’t. She didn’t do any of it.
She did her best to tarnish the reputation of a football coach on the day he was being introduced as a head coach at another school.
Peach also released a statement Monday thanking Anderson County for everything they’ve done for him. He took the high road.
Peach is going to be just fine at Trigg County, but it’ll take time.
If Cadiz invests in Peach and Peach invests in Cadiz, the Wildcats will be rolling for years to come.