Coach Of The Year
Magnolia Head Football Coach Mark Batton started as the Blue Eagles head man in 1999. His team was 5-5 that year and would make the playoffs in his second and third seasons. His team competed in one playoff game in 2000 and three in 2001.
From 2002-04, his teams split 30 games, with his only two losing seasons in 2002 and 2004. Since then, he has guided Magnolia to the playoffs six straight seasons and has been to the playoffs eight times in a dozen seasons.
With the win against Tug Valley last Friday, his teams have now won 95 games, while losing only 41. But, since 2005 to the present, his teams have won 60 games, while losing only 13, reaching the playoffs each season.
Because of these accomplishments, I believe it’s time that he should be nominated for, and win, Coach of the Year accolades coming up from the OVAC and WVSSAC. Also, I believe that his quarterback, Justin “Tank” Fox, should run away with the Kennedy Award, as well as Matt Riggs for the Linemen of the Year.
Coach Batton and his talented corp of coaches have done what many people think couldn’t be done after losing all but two starters from the offensive line. Plus, they also lost the two top yardage runningbacks in Magnolia history. Moreover, Batton lost just about every starter on defense, except for Fox, Riggs, and Traeh Keller.
With all this in mind, its a no-brainer that Mark Batton should be rewarded with Coach of the Year honors. For sure, there are other coaches that have had nice seasons. But, to lose the players he has lost, yet making it to the playoffs six straight seasons and guiding his troops to the promise land eight times in 12 years, Come-On-Man!
The season isn’t over and there are three more games to win. But, remember, win or lose, Batton has this sports editor’s vote for Coach of the Year.