Whitesburg KY

New Jenkins football coach is introduced to board members

Members of the Jenkins Independent Board of Education had the opportunity to meet newly hired varsity football coach Lincoln Bentley and his wife Stephanie at the board’s March board meeting this week. Superintendent John Shook introduced Bentley to the board and Bentley outlined his plans for future success.

Bentley told the board he plans to implement a mentorship program for grade school players where a high school player acts as a sponsor to players in grades three through six. Bentley said the older player will stay in touch with his younger counterpart and make sure his grades are kept up. He said he believes this will help keep Jenkins students in the system as well as promoting continuity in the program.

Bentley also told the board he believes that high school football can be a rallying point for small towns and said he has seen a very solid interest in football in Jenkins. He recalled his high school playing days at Fleming- Neon in his senior year when his team was 10-1 and “the whole town was painted purple and gold.” Bentley said that kind of support means a great deal to high school players, but it means a great deal to the community as well. He also told the board that grades would be a priority with him and that in early meetings with players he has emphasized taking care of business in the classroom.

Bentley said interest in the program is high and he has been contacted by a number of students and parents about participating. He said he was particularly pleased with a solid veteran offensive line that will form the core of next year’s offense.

“I’ve never had a collection of big, athletic kids like this, big kids who can move, all at one place,” said Bentley. “It’s a line coach’s dream. The offense will be designed to take advantage of that line.”

Bentley told the board the team has established hosting a playoff game as its goal for next year. Because there are only four teams in the district, each team is automatically in the playoffs, but the teams with the best records play host. He also said he has met with football boosters who have expressed an interest in selling ads for the football field. Superintendent Shook said that up until now, only the crosscountry team and the cheerleaders have sold ads. Bentley said he would see that both groups get a portion of whatever ads the boosters sell as well because they are non-revenue producing sports.

In other business, Superintendent Shook told the board that planned roof repairs have finally begun after cold weather had delayed Bri-Den, the roofing contractor for the system, from beginning for several months. Elliot Contractors, which is doing floor and ceiling repairs, is about halfway through its work, said Shook. He said tile has been placed in the library at Burdine and carpet has been laid in the library at McRoberts and Jenkins Middle High School. Shook also said that since the weather has been more cooperative, roof work on the Burdine Elementary School is almost complete and is proceeding at McRoberts Elementary. When both elementary schools are finished, work will commence on the Jenkins High School roof.

In other board business:

• Director of Pupil Personnel Harvey Tackett reported that overall attendance through March 14 stood at 92.4 percent. Tackett also told the board the system has picked up seven new students, five in the elementary schools and two in the upper grades.

• The board accepted Brian Johnson’s resignation as high school basketball coach, Jerry Bentley’s resignation as assistant coach and Scott Guthrie’s resignation as strength coach.

• Superintendent Shook singled out the custodial staff for its hard work in keeping the schools clean during the construction process. He said the construction work is done in the evening and the custodians come in afterward and work so students can have a clean space on the next day.

• Director of Curriculum and Instruction Jan Tackett told the board that Jenkins juniors had 100 percent participation for the state-mandated ATC testing on March 22. Tackett said the makeup date had been scheduled for March 25, and Jenkins’ spring break runs from March 24 to March 28. Superintendent Shook told the board that may have provided some incentive for the perfect attendance. Tackett also said the materials for the Kentucky Core Content Test (CATS) Tests will arrive March 28.

• Athletic Director Jerry Bentley reported that Title IX is in excellent shape in Jenkins with 70 girls and 76 boys participating in sports programs. Bentley said the addition of girls’ volleyball had aided in equalizing participation. Bentley said Jenkins is in better shape than some neighboring schools which have wide spending imbalances between boys’ sports and girls’ sports.

• DPP Tackett also requested the Amended District Calendar reflect that Jenkins will meet state attendance requirements of 187 total days. The last day of school for students will be May 21, providing no further school is canceled due to weather.

• The eighth-grade graduation will take place May 21 and the high school graduation will take place May 23.

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