MOULTRIE – Colquitt County has filled two more vacancies on its varsity football staff, with one slot still open.
Packers coach Rush Propst also is working to fill four positions on the ninth-grade team and has to replace two middle school coaches who have elected to take administrative positions in the school system.
Propst has hired Courtney Sanders, who has spent the last six years as an assistant at Missouri State, to replace Shelton Felton and coach the Packers defensive line.
And Josh Crawford will move up from the ninth-grade staff to coach the wide receivers.
Crawford will replace Jean Cherizol, who left to accept the position of offensive coordinator at Pensacola High School. Last year was Crawford’s first at Colquitt County.
Sanders is a native of Stamps, Ark., and played football at Arkansas-Monticello.
He graduated in 2002 from the University of Arkansas, where he also earned his master’s degree in 2006.
Sanders worked in several coaching capacities at Arkansas from 2001-2008 before becoming the defensive line coach at Missouri State in 2008.
He also worked with the strength and conditioning staff and was responsible for recruiting in Arkansas.
He and his wife Veronica are the parents of two daughters.
The other recent addition to the coaching staff was Shawn Sutton, who returned after a year as the receivers coach at Faulkner University to become the Packers assistant head coach and strength and conditioning coordinator.
Although Jeremy Rowell was named to replace Tracy Buckhannon as defensive coordinator, Propst has not filled Buckhannon’s vacancy.
And while the Colquitt County junior varsity, eighth-grade and seventh-grade teams went a combined 16-3 last year, the ninth-grade team continued to struggle.
Propst said he will increase the ninth-grade staff from four to six coaches for next season, requiring the hiring of four new assistants.
“Four coaches are not enough for 60 kids,” he said. “We need a solid freshman program.
“Last year was not a fun year for our ninth-graders. Losing gives kids a bad experience and you start losing those players.”
Propst said expanding and improving the staff was especially crucial this year because the rising ninth-grade class has some outstanding athletes.
“We have got to protect our under-program,” he said.
Propst also will have to fill the vacuum left when middle school coaches Brian Knighton and Will Southwell resigned to devote their energies to new administrative positions.
Both are former Colquitt County football players.
“Will and Brian both did great jobs for us,” Propst said.