BY PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
Jared Shaner's football staff will have a pair of new assistants when the team takes the field this fall.
Seth English and Troy Medvick were recently hired as assistant football coaches. Both will also teach at the high school and possess past football experience.
“(They are) two guys that I just really think have some good experiences and are going to bring a lot to our staff,” Shaner said.
The coach said he plans to wait through the summer until naming their specific roles. English and Medvick replaced Sean Docherty and Dan Page who resigned their positions. English's coaching experience includes Sparta where he was the head coach for four seasons. Shaner said he's worked with both offenses and defenses. English will also teach special education. Medvick has previous experience for a Mt. Vernon perennial foe Mascoutah and will teach social studies.
“By the time we get to camp late in the summer, I will kind of finalize (positions),” Shaner said. “Obviously just looking at resumes and talking to them, I can kind of see what they've done in the past. I'm just kind of using the summer to evaluate where I see them fitting in best.”
Both coaches are currently commuting to Mt. Vernon several days each week to help with the Rams summer activities.
“They kind of pick two sometimes three days a week that work into their schedule and are just really learning the kids right now and kind of learning our playbook, our offensive and defensive systems,” Shaner said.
Mt. Vernon's schedule was also recently finalized. The inclusion of Cahokia came after months of speculation about the future of sports for the Comanches. Shaner said the Rams will play games at each level – varsity, junior varsity and freshman – for the upcoming football season.
“Cahokia, I think, contacted all the other schools and told them they will offer all the sports they did last year,” Shaner said.
Shaner said due to the difficult nature of scheduling football, the announcement settles what could have been a tricky situation.
“That's big for football otherwise it would be very difficult to try and find games in the middle of the year,” Shaner said. “I'm very, very happy that they're going to have something for this next year.”
The Rams again start the season with the defending champion Rochester Rockets. Mt. Vernon will be at J.D. Shields Memorial Stadium just once in the opening month of the season.
“There's not a lot of gimmes on the schedule, that's for sure,” Shaner said. “But I'm very happy with the way our kids have been working this summer and preparing and hopefully we can be prepared going into the season.”
The matchup with Rochester is the last in a two-year deal between the schools. Shaner is already working to fill the future opening week. He said Taylorville, another Central State Eight Conference team, is a possibility.
The Rams open the season at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.