.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Sedrick Williams takes over track program

-A A +A

The former college athlete hopes to be at Henry County for the long haul

By Tommie Kendall

Trying to bring a more consistent approach to the Henry County track program with a long-term focus, Sedrick Williams has taken over the reigns as the head coach.

Williams, who was born in North Carolina but raised in New York, was officially given the position in October. He started coaching the squad on Feb. 22 with the first meet scheduled for next Thursday at Carroll County.

This will be the third head coach in three years, leaving a rocky situation with not much consistency at the top. Williams hopes that all changes, beginning with the first day of practice last month. There are around 50 athletes currently on the team.

“I didn’t just sign on for one year to coach. It’s a passion of mine,” Williams said. “I took the position to be the head coach, period. My focus is to be more consistent, build a foundation and work on that. And I want to surround myself with coaches and athletes with that same mentality.”

Williams works for Seven Counties as the Senior Service Coordinator for Kentucky Impact. After the recent turnaround, HCHS athletic director Todd Gilley thinks Williams is the perfect fit for the program.

“We’re so excited to have someone of his caliber, his enthusiasm and someone who has the ability to relate to the kids,” Gilley said of the hire. “Sedrick is highly energetic and well respected. When you have three different coaches in three years, you need someone who is a healer, who can settle things down and who can make that cross-over to a new coach. There hasn’t been much continuity over the years, so we want someone who can bridge that gap quickly and build those relationships. We think Sedrick can get the track program where it needs to be.”

Last spring, led by first-year head coach Jacob Crowe, Henry sent five athletes to the Kentucky State Track and Field Championships: Brittany Crawford finished second in the 100-meter hurdles and 10th in the 300-hurdles; Travis Farmer and Alexa King both finished seventh in the pole vault; Jared Singleton finished 11th in the pole vault; and Cassey Fischer finished 13th in the 3,200-meter run. Shortly after the season, Crowe decided to back away from the program.

Williams said he was offered other coaching positions but the opening at Henry County got him the most excited. He already works with students in Henry County Public Schools through his full-time position and really likes the community. It was an easy decision.

“I’ve always wanted to end my career coaching and Henry County has great schools and a great community,” Williams said. “Now, I want to bring more people into what track is all about, start with the younger kids and build interest.”

Williams participated in three sports during his high school days in New York: track, soccer and lacrosse. He went to Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky for one year, a small college in New York for one year, and then finished up at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Kentucky, graduating in 1998. While at the three colleges, he played soccer, tennis and track. He said he focused on the 400-meter run and the long jump during this time, qualifying for the NAIA National Track & Field Championships.

After taking over the program, Williams has made a few changes, most notably his decision not to compete at any indoor meets this season in preparation for outdoor. Indoor meets are typcially in January, February and early March, while outdoor meets start in late March and culminate with the state meet in June. The Mason-Dixon Games, which is also considered the official indoor state meet in Kentucky, was held this past weekend in Louisville.

“I made the decision not to do indoor because coming into the program I knew things didn’t need to be rushed or half done,” Williams said. “I wanted to focus on putting together a coaching staff and team before trying to compete. I want to be ready.”

Williams said practice has been going well so far but the team is a little behind schedule as far as conditioning and race preparation. The big meets this season include the Wildcats Relays hosted by Henry County on April 10, the regional meet on May 29 and the state meet for those who qualify on June 5.

“I think this season is a growing period. My goals and expectations this year are to gain numbers and regroup,” Williams said. “A few years from now, I’ll like to start focusing on contending at the region meet and sending as many athletes as possible to the state championship.”

E-mail us about this story at sports@hclocal.com.