Christian County High School announced four new faces to lead four programs at CCHS with a press conference Wednesday at the school.
Sheri Hancock will be the new softball coach of the Lady Colonels as she's now leading the program she once played for. Fellow Christian County graduate Eric McGee will lead the girls' track and field program while Hopkinsville graduate Joe Leavell will lead the boys' track and field team. Whitney Holder is the new Colonels cross-country coach.
Sheri Hancock -- Softball
As a graduate of Christian County, Hancock said it means the world to her to now be at the helm of a team and a school that's given her so much.
"I was here when this program started," she said. "My family was here, I was 11 years old. There's nothing I've wanted more since I was 11 than to win state titles at Christian County and I was fortunate to do that as a player. But since I was 11 years old, nothing has quite changed in 35 years. All I want to do is win state titles at Christian County."
Hancock's two daughters have both been Colonels and one is still in the program.
"I don't know that I can put it into words," she said. "Aside from my faith and my family, this is maybe the most important thing to me. I loved Jim Perrin with a passion ... I believe so strongly in the tradition of this program that he built."
Hancock's oldest daughter is recently removed from the program and she said she's starting to understand what her time at CCHS meant.
"Reagan finally gets it," she said. "When they're kids, they're like it's never going to end. But then it does end and she realizes how special this place is and how special is it to play for this program. I'm just so excited to do this."
Playing for the late Jim Perrin meant a lot to a lot of people, and Hancock is no different.
She said she hopes to continue the legacy he started.
"Sometimes I open my mouth and I feel like he comes out of it," she said. "I'll say something that I feel like he would have said. He so strongly believed in hard work. Nobody should ever outwork you, they may beat you, but it shouldn't be because they outwork you."
Hancock will focus on the little things and that's why she'll be successful at Christian County. She said defense, pitching and playing hard will be key in her coaching.
Fundamentals are also important as Perrin taught then every year.
"My senior year, after I won a state title, he was like 'OK guys, this is a softball and this is how you hold it,' " she said. "The same thing, year after year after year, but he went over it."
But with every position, there are some butterflies and Hancock said she's no different.
"I am incredibly excited but I'm scared to death," she said. "I'm going to be honest because this is important. Not only is it important to me, it's important to a lot of people. If you weren't nervous or scared, I don't think you'd be human. I'm scared enough and nervous enough that I'm going to want to do a good job because I feel the need to do that."
Eric McGee -- Girls' Track & Field
Another fellow graduate of CCHS was
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picked to lead the girls' track & field program in McGee.
As a father with two daughters in the program, he's already invested in its success.
"I'm a true Colonel, a die-hard Colonel," he said. "It's all about the red, white and blue with me. I've always prided myself on work ethic and being a good teammate. I try to take that same approach as a coach. It's big, I'm a Colonel and that's what I represent, it's a great thing to be at my alma mater."
McGee was an assistant last season and could be seen all over the track with a clipboard in hand giving instruction in different events.
He said that gives him a step-up going into next season.
"I think it does give me a little edge," he said. "On top of that, I have a good rapport with a lot of them. I've known a lot of the kids since they were young, I coached on the little league level with the sports team. I think that does give me an edge since I can relate to them."
McGee knows the school he holds dear has plenty of talent and he's ready to tap into that.
He said if an athlete has the skills, they can excel at track and field.
"Everybody can't play basketball, everybody can't play football but if you're fast, track and field has an event for you," he said. "To me, track and field is the ultimate display of speed, endurance and strength. There's a lot of events. If you're not fast and can run distance, there's an event for that. If you can throw and you're pretty strong, they've got events for that. If you can jump, they've got events for that. It's just trying to get them to understand that you don't have to be a basketball player or football player or even baseball or softball to be considered a good athlete because track and field athletes are some of the most amazing athletes in the world."
The lone hire that's not from the area is Holder as she'll now lead the Colonels cross-country program.
The CCHS administration wanted to bring someone in that had a passion for the sport and Holder fits the bill.
"I love cross-country," she said. "I ran track all four years in high school and then when I went to college, I looked for cross-country schools, places I could run in college because I love cross-country more than anything. You know as soon as you get done running three miles, you're done."
Holder is from southern Indiana and said the goal was to move to an area that was on the smaller side with ties to a city and she said Hopkinsville was that perfect place.
She said she's got a simple goal for the future.
"Improving their times and hoping that they come out and have fun while they're running," she said.
While running may not seem fun to some, Holder said she's going to implement some things that she's had success with before.
"There were a few things I did at my last coaching job," she said. "We'd have dinner on Friday nights together then they'd all go to the game. We'd all go out and do a pool run, we'd run and then got to the community pool. Just random, little things like that. Running makes you closer with your team because you're not going to like it everyday."
Holder admitted she does know numbers will be a challenge in her first year, but it's key for a program to walk before it can run.
"I think recruiting is something we're really going to struggle with this year," she said. "I'm just hoping that some kids come out and they tell their friends and we kind of get a bigger program."