EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second story in a series about first-year spring coaches starting their careers on the sideline but having to delay their debuts due to COVID-19.

Like new Lady Colonel softball coach Sheri Hancock, Joe Leavell is getting his start as a head coach with the Cols track and field team, but also like Hancock, he’s debut won’t come when he thought it would.

Leavell was scheduled to hit the track with his squad earlier this month at Fort Campbell, but COVID-19 delayed that process.

Leavell is no stranger to the Colonel sidelines as he was also an assistant football coach for CCHS last season.

Leavell said he is mostly concerned for his older players.

“For me, I get to look toward next year, but my biggest concern would be kids like Mikeon Mathis, who was going to come out for his first year,” he said. “K’Ron (Sherald), who’s made every trip at state, even big runs at region. This being his big year … That’s my biggest concern — the seniors.”

Leavell had high schools for the track and field squad when he accepted the position last summer.

He said they hit the ground running months ago.

“We started in November to prepare for the season, then right when your first meet is about to happen, it’s taken away,” he said.

Leavell can often be seen out in the community, as he is also an official for the Bud Hudson Youth Football League.

Leavell said he knows the importance of keeping the athletes positive.

“Right before the dead period, we met as far as still taking care of your body,” he said. “Now that dead period is going on, I just try to leave them with that hope that until they cancel regionals, everything is still up in the air. It doesn’t matter how many meets you win up until regionals, that’s what matters most in track and field.”

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