State of East Webster athletics

Staff Writer

It was a little different for Doug Wilson to be standing where he was for most of the East Webster football games last year.

Wilson spent years on the sidelines for the Wolverines running the defense and was the head coach for them following his stint as coordinator. After the 2016 season, he decided it was time to hang the whistle up and just become a teacher until retirement.

It wasn’t long after that Wilson was coaxed into becoming the director of athletics for the school in Cumberland. With his love for all things East Webster as well as the players and coaches that represent the school, it was an easy decision.

“It was a little different,” Wilson said of his new role. “I didn’t realize how much work it was being a head football coach until you step away, then I noticed how much all of the coaches were doing in all of the sports and it’s tiring. People put in countless hours in their sports so it really is not that hard of a job for me because all of the coaches work so well together. We all get along well.”

The coaches are really what makes things tick on and on for the Wolverines. East Webster had implemented a system in all of its programs and winning has followed in droves.

In recent years, the Wolverines have won baseball and softball state championships as well as golf and tennis. They’ve also been to the Class 2A State championship football game back in 2015 and the basketball teams have both become district champions over the last year.

Wilson believes much of that is due to the culture put in place at a young age.

“In 2A, you have to share athletes," Wilson said. "Watching all of (the coaches) work together is interesting. You realize that one sport feeds off of another. Two or three years ago baseball won the state championship and then everybody was working to get to that point. It’s a joy to work with people that care about the program and are not there to just draw a check.”

On the football field, the Wolverines knew they were taking a step back with the talent that was lost. On top of that, Wilson was stepping down as head coach and East Webster hired a new coach in his place.

Former New Albany head man was the guy for the job and Wilson couldn’t have been more pleased with his work. Price took a young team to the playoffs and built the foundation for the Wolverines to get back to their regular standard.

“He did a great job," Wilson said of Price's opening season. "He and his staff worked as hard as any staff that have ever come through here. We lost a class of 16 and then 12 in consecutive years. Last year he had two kids that had played four quarters every week on both sides of the ball. Experience is critical and they did a great job making the playoffs and they were competitive.”

On the hardwood, the Wolverines boys and girls basketball teams are going through a coaching change also. This transition should be much smoother than most.

Michael Seger took over a boys program that had struggled to win in recent years and a girls team that was rebuilding from a state championship team that mostly would not return. In two years, he had the girls team in Jackson in the Elite 8 and in three years the boys were district champions.

However, Seger announced prior to last season that he was leaving the United States to serve in a school for orphans with his family in Uganda on mission. Instead of leaving the Wolverines high and dry, Seger put a plan in motion to set the program up long term. He coached both teams through last season and he brought in his mentor and former boss Jon Ginn as an assistant and coach-in-waiting.

“Coach Seger was probably one of the hardest working coaches I’ve ever been around, and he was so organized,” Wilson said. “Truth be known, he learned that from coach Ginn so it was not a hard transition at all. (Ginn) hasn’t missed a beat and they worked hard just about every day in June with a gym full of players.”

While the product on the field and court is the utmost importance, having top notch facilities for the players is equally critical and that’s been a priority in Cumberland for years.

This summer there have been some big projects and minor facelifts to help continue in the right direction. A girl’s weight room in the gym has been the biggest priority of the summer allowing a separate facility for girls sports to train. The East Webster football field will also have a minor update at the football entrance and the baseball batting cages also got some work.

This is the quiet time for the Wolverines, but they’re always working for the real games ahead. Those are the ones that Wilson is excited about most this fall and spring in year two of his duties.

“I expect us to do like we’ve always done," Wilson said. "I expect us to compete and have the best support of anybody in the state. We’ll click on just like we always have.”