HomeNewsHarris helping JMCSS as athletic coordinator

Harris helping JMCSS as athletic coordinator

Jackson-Madison County Schools athletics has a new person helping facilitate sports within the school district.

Nicholas Harris has begun work as the district athletic coordinator, working under Jason Bridgeman, who’s officially the district’s athletic director.

Deputy Superintendent Ricky Catlett and Bridgeman officially introduced Harris to the JMCSS Board’s athletics committee during their meeting on Monday.

Harris is a former coach and owns an athletic training facility in Brownsville – Harris Sports Performance.

“Our district got a lot of recognition this past school year because we brought home three gold balls this past year,” Catlett said, referring to state championship wins by South Side girls’ basketball, Madison Academic boys’ soccer and a pole vaulting state championship in track and field by Madison’s Adolfo Mireles. “And athletics is the third ‘A’ in our three As that we focus on along with academics and the arts.

“Mr. Harris is here to help us have an even more direct focus on athletics so we can really capitalize on our successes in athletics.”

Harris said he’s just getting started but really got to get his feet wet in talking with coaches toward the end of this past school year and assessing facility needs at all schools, and he looks forward to diving into the role even more in the future.

Here’s a rundown of a few more items discussed at the meeting:

JMCSS has pulled out of the middle school version of the TSSAA, the TMSAA, as they add sports and start co-oping between schools for those schools that need it.

Catlett and Bridgeman said there are a number of moving parts for middle school athletics as they’re adding sports at certain schools, and membership in the TMSAA requirements would potentially cause problems for JMCSS as they try to figure out which schools are co-oping with each other as they work through this process.

One example given that necessitates a change is Community Montessori co-oped last year with Rose Hill for most of its sports, but in volleyball, Rose Hill had a roster of 24 players, 22 of which came from CMS. So CMS will get its own volleyball team this year.

JMCSS’ exit from TMSAA did raise questions concerning postseason play and having officials available for their games.

JMCSS will host their own district tournaments when each season ends, similar to what it did with middle school baseball that was started this past spring at the West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex.

And Catlett said he was assured by local officiating leaders that there would be officials available for their games.

“If for some reason they’re not available in baseball and softball, I can tell you the Sportsplex has umpires that we can use,” said Jason Compton, the chair of the athletics committee who’s also the director of the Sportsplex.

Middle school softball season is set to begin Aug. 28 and run through Oct. 3 with a single-elimination tournament. All games will be played at the Sportsplex like last season.

The district has asked Arlington Elementary Principal Sheamon Reaves to coordinate the beginning of elementary soccer in the district, similar to what he did coordinating elementary basketball this past spring.

“Dr. Reaves said it will be a lot of work, and he’s not as familiar with soccer as he is with basketball but he’s willing to do whatever the district needs him to do,” Catlett said.

Bridgeman said the season for soccer hasn’t officially been set yet and won’t be until they’re sure which schools will be participating and they can put a schedule together.

“It’ll probably be October to dodge the end of summer and hot weather but before it gets cold in early winter,” Bridgeman said. “But nothing is officially set yet.”

The district also plans to have a district-wide sports awards banquet in April the night after the JMCSS Gala to honor those athletes who’ve excelled throughout the school year.

“We’re still in the very early stages of figuring out a lot of the details regarding that, but we know we’re going to have the Gala on that Thursday night and then come back that Friday and honor our athletes,” Catlett said.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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