New faces dot high school landscape

Former Dutchtown coach Kelcey White is now the head coach at Westlake. (Special Photo: Jerry Jackson)

 

New faces dot high school baseball landscape

 

Offseason change is often part of the landscape in high school athletics. Change was evident across the state among high school baseball coaches this summer.
Nearly one-fourth of the state's high schools have new baseball coaches.
The retirement of several fixtures such as Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coaches Steve Dennis (Columbia) and Mike Power (Roswell) opened the door for prominent assistants Brandon Carter and Ben Sutter, respectively, to land their first jobs as head coaches.
Power may not be a head coach anymore but he's still an assistant coach at South Forsyth.
Longtime South Georgia legendary coach Bart Shuman (Valdosta) announced his retirement from Valdosta High School, opening the door for Brad Porter to return to the Georgia High School Association after spending the last several years at Tiftarea Academy, which competes in the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
But former Cartersville Hall of Fame coach Stuart Chester made perhaps the biggest splash when he took the head job at Buford High School in June, replacing longtime coach Tony Wolfe.
Chester led Cartersville to six state baseball titles in 21 seasons as the Purple Hurricanes' coach and is a Georgia Dugout Club Hall of Fame coach.
“To be honest, Buford was probably the only place in the country that I would’ve considered leaving (Cartersville) for,” Chester told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “From the outside, everyone sees Buford for their facilities and championships, and I’m no exception. But that only opens the door and makes you peek inside. When I did that, the people at Buford are probably some of the best I’ve ever met.
Cartersville responded by hiring the state's all-time winningest coach, former Columbus High School coach Bobby Howard, who resigned after a month.
“They are great people and they made a great offer, but the retirement/investment piece could not be worked out,” Howard told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Cartersville promoted longtime assistant Kyle Tucker.
Glynn Academy also made state news in July when they snagged Trent Mongero, who less than a month earlier, had guided North Hall to its first state title in school history. Mongero headed south after Glynn's coach Greg Roberts resigned to take back over at Frederica Academy, a GISA school.
“On one side of the equation, we feel like we are following God’s will for our family’s life with this opportunity,” Mongero told the Gainesville Times. “On the flip side, we have to say goodbye to a community and a program that we have sunk our lives into for the last 11 years.”
Trevor Flow, who previously was the head coach at Stephens County and a longtime assistant under Mongero, was promoted and took over the North Hall program.
And this year will mark the return of former Wesleyan School coach Mike Shaheen, who was hired to take over the baseball program at Mount Pisgah Christian. Shaheen guided Wesleyan to three state titles before resigning in 2011. He did missionary work in the Domincan Republic.

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Several schools have new baseball coaches. Here is a look:

School New Coach Former Coach
Alexander Zach Romain Chris Brown
Aquinas Andy Woodard Stephen Hickey
Atkinson County Tommy Adcock Jeremy Edwards
Banks County Peyton Hart Tom Kelley
Bremen Chris Brown Tim Hanegan
Brooks County Josh Price Alex Robinson
Brunswick Brian Crawford Al Otte
Buford Stuart Chester Tony Wolfe
Cairo Chad Parkerson Ron Best
Campbell Jeff Searcy Mario Allen
Cartersville Kyle Tucker Stuart Chester
Cass Tim Ayers Adam Williams
Centennial Matt McCarthy Ross Book
Central Gwinnett Stephen Gronsbell Tyler Collins
Clarke Central Adam Osborne Trey Henson
Coffee Sy Jones Josh Cole
Dade County Aaron Simmons Brent Cooper
Dublin Patrick Jordan Rusty Watters
Duluth Ryan Turner Thomas LePage
Eagles Landing Ronny Daniels Ty Lewis
Echols County James Hamlett Jeff Guilliams
ECI Brooks Collins Chad Harper
Flowery Branch Joey Ray Heath Kennedy
GMC Rusty Courson Steven Simpson
Glynn Academy Trent Mongero Greg Roberts
Gordon Central Jeremy Sewell Chris Stephens
Grady Darryl Farley Daryl Pearson
Hawkinsville Will Conner Cote Jones
Hephzibah Sean Kennedy Michael Lafontaine
Hiram Tim Burgess Mike Marra
Lafayette Chris Base Mike Shank
Liberty County Brandon Whitmore Josh Davis
Lithia Springs Chris Sheperd John Fulkerson
Long County James Hobbs Wade Peterson
Luella Tom Kelley Seth Harris
McEachern Karlton Schilling Dan Torrenti
McIntosh Co. Academy Jesse Barfield Chris Base
Model Ronnie Wadell Brett White
Mount Pisgah Christian Mike Shaheen Kent Harrison
Norcross Aaron Wilkens Reggie Stancil
North Atlanta Stephen Muoio Shane Owen
North Hall Trevor Flow Trent Mongero
North Springs Matt Gershon Wally Pritchard
Northview Tom Kratowicz Aaron Wilkens
Paideia Jonathan Petrash Millard Dawson
Pepperell Britt Chandler Matt Montgomery
Perry T.J. Hutchins Lorne Tucker
Pickens Adam Williams Casey Bates
Prince Avenue Christian Phil Roberts Stan Fricks
Putnam County Matt Riden Hamner Lee
Riverdale Hunter Edmundson Brian Paige
Riverwood Trey Henson Mike Santoro
Rome Jim Tejcek Michael Dougherty
Roswell Ben Sutter Mike Power
Rutland Steven Gunn David Kelly
Saint Anne-Pacelli Brent Benefield Hart Mizell
Sandy Creek Eddy Householder T.C. Boyd
Sequoyah Lane Whitley Travis King
Shiloh Reggie Ingram Jimmy Hughes
South Paulding Jay Sneddon Pecos Galamore
Spalding Seth Harris Sal Argila
Sprayberry Taylor Hightower Phil Henderson
Strong Rock Christian Toby Evans Phil Roberts
Tattnall County Ben Collins Donny Sikes
Thomas County Central Ryan Strickland Chad Parkerson
Tucker Mike Masce Vincent Byams
Turner County Zach Mauldin David Sims
Upson-Lee Tommy Parks Wayne Puckett
Valdosta Brad Porter Bart Shuman
Ware County Jamie Ammons Tony Yeomans
Westlake Kelcey White Matthew Lindeman
White County Jim Waites Josh Bartlett