The Bottom Line
By Bill Nestor
As the summer heat has been in full effect so have things been heating up at Lincoln High School. I had a chance to catch up with one of the most important individuals in the sports scene in “Cougar Country”, Athletic Director, Holly Hawkins. While others are enjoying their summer break Hawkins has been hard at work since July 13th in preparation for the upcoming school year as well as the fall sports season.
“The first couple of weeks we have worked on student handbooks and the faculty handbooks. I have also been working on updating the referees schedule and the football schedule,” explained Hawkins. The new middle school will be playing on the high school field and there is also a practice field that will be utilized by both squads.
For Hawkins this is a hectic time of year even though the actual school year hasn’t started yet. “Six sports will start this week and another will start next week. It is definitely the busiest time of year.” To make things more difficult, there has been a great deal of turnover in the coaching ranks at the Shinnston based school. “Five of my seven sports will have new coaches. Volleyball, golf, cross country, and boys and girls soccer will have new coaches. It’s pretty much a whole new coaching staff with the exception of my football and cheerleading coaches.”
Most athletic directors would feel a little overwhelmed by this type of situation but Hawkins has done her due diligence in order to better handle the situation. “Organization is one of my strengths. Since I was so prepared at the end of last year, I came right in this year and it has really made life less stressful.”
Experience is also on her side as this isn’t her first time in this role. It’s going so much easier no that Hawkins has two years under her belt. She knows exactly what she wants from the leaders of the various sports programs and they in turn know what is expected of them.
“Communication is important. I will have a meeting with all of our coaches. I have prepared a coaches handbook for them. It outlines our expectations and the way we handle our student athletes.”
Not only does Hawkins have deep roots at the school so does the principal, Mr. Lopez. “My principal, Mr. Lopez, and I are both Lincoln graduates and we have great pride in our high school. Mr. Lopez does a great job of instilling that pride in our faculty every chance he gets.”
Hawkins has a love for her school and all of the athletes in it. She goes the extra mile to provide the most she can for all of the participants. “I want to make sure that our athletes are treated as fair as possible and that our teams would want for nothing whether it’s uniforms or equipment or even food for the kids.”
When you have a leader that truly cares about the well being of the student athletes as Hawkins does then school and all those that are involved can’t help from being successful. Look for yet another quality year at Lincoln High School!
That will do it for now. Until next time…take care and God bless!