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Knox County R-I Announces 2007-08 Coaching Lineup

By David Sharp

   Head softball coach Stephanie Crawford and girls’ basketball coach John Weaver are among promoted or newly hired coaches recently announced by the Knox County R-I school district for the 2007-08 season.

   This story includes an interview with high school softball coach Stephanie Crawford. The Edina Sentinel will catch up with former Clark County Indian standout John Weaver at the Knox County basketball camp, scheduled for June 4-8.

   Stephanie Crawford was the 2006 KCHS assistant softball coach. Crawford replaces Kenny Jett, who resigned after the recently completed school year and will be the new girls’ basketball coach at Madison.

  Stephanie Crawford graduated from Washington (Illinois) Community High School in 2001. Coach Crawford pitched for the four time conference champion softball team and pitched for Illinois Central Community College in Peoria, Illinois. She graduated from Western Illinois University at Macomb and is a certified athletic trainer.

   The Lady Eagles will have had four softball coaches in as many seasons when they take the field August 20, 2007 at Canton. Knox County will return a solid group of players including seniors Jordin Luthenauer, Holly Kite, and Jessi Stout.

   “I feel like a lot of the girls need to get back to the basic fundamentals,” said Stephanie Crawford when asked about the upcoming high school softball campaign. “I’m hoping to do a lot of drill work and build on those basic fundamentals. I want to do a lot of game situation work, because a lot of them don’t play in the summer. They aren’t getting the experience they need to be successful in school ball.”

   Knox County had a summer softball scrimmage with the Macon Travelers team rained out last week. Macon has players from several area high schools including Brashear senior Christina Scudder. The Lady Eagles hope to play in area tournaments, as well as the Kirksville summer softball league.

   “We are trying to build a summer softball program so the experience gained will carry over into high school softball,” said Crawford. “The younger girls that are coming up play summer softball regularly. I think the program is really going to build on those girls’ game experience.”

   “The majority of our lineup from a year ago is coming back,” said Stephanie Crawford. “Our seniors have been working really hard conditioning wise. They are lifting weights and are playing on our summer team this year. I think it is headed in the right direction as far as the work ethic of the girls and wanting to get better.”

   The district has not named their 2007 high school assistant. Shelly Wood and Jenna Dial will coach the Lady Eagle Middle School softball team this fall.

   Steve Ramer will return for his third season as Knox County head football coach. Craig Miller, Jesse Crawford and Darin Elazzaraz will be the high school assistant coaches. Ryan Waters and John Weaver will coach the Eagle middle school football team.

   Jesse Crawford will return for his second season as KCHS head boys’ basketball and baseball coach. Ryan Waters will be the high school assistant basketball coach. Craig Miller is slated to coach the KCMS eighth grade boys and Mark Hunolt will coach the Knox County seventh grade boys’ basketball team. John Weaver is currently the only girls’ basketball coach named.

   Lyndsey Hunter will return to coach the high school cheerleaders and will coach the dance team. KCHS cheerleading alum Katie Bailey will coach the KCMS cheerleaders.

   Knox County R-I has named former Clark County track star John Weaver as co head track coach, replacing Ann Murphy who will move on to Highland. Kate Murphy has been retained as co head track coach for 2008. Knox County is the defending girls’ district track champion.

   Staci English has been named as one of two Knox County middle school track coaches with the other position currently open. Joyce Delaney and Cindy Bliem-Sharp will return to coach the Knox County Eagle campus bowl program.