Changes coming for NHS athletics

Published 1:16 am Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NATCHEZ — Athletics in the Natchez schools may be in for changes the like department hasn’t seen in years.

Natchez-Adams School District Athletic Director Fred Butcher has big plans for fields, faculty and students.

“I am not only suggesting better facilities,” Butcher said. “I am suggesting better student performance academically as well as athletically.”

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It is no surprise that academics are of great importance to Butcher who was the former director of academic affairs for Concordia Parish schools and a principal at Ferriday High School for 23 years.

He started as the Natchez athletic director in August.

“We have to continue building bridges,” Butcher said. “The key to a better program is better communication with coaches, students and their parents.”

In order to achieve more concise lines of communication, especially among coaches, Butcher recommended a revised athletic manual to be used universally with all athletic departments.

“I think in the past because there were different manuals, some situations weren’t handled appropriately,” Butcher said. “But now that we are revising our manual and everything will be on paper we shouldn’t have that problem.”

The manual is used to establish codes of conduct for student athletes and coaches.

“We are bringing in a person from The University of Southern Mississippi to advise faculty and students about the NCAA’s academic requirements of college bound athletes,” Butcher said.

Butcher said the district needs to stress college entrance requirements early.

“Academically and athletically speaking I think that we’re moving in the right direction regarding Butcher’s goals,” Superintendent Anthony Morris said.

In addition to communication and academic revitalizations, Butcher would like to organize a disciplinary committee. Three coaches and a principal from one of the schools would be on the committee.

The idea is to setup the committee as a preventative force so students know what they’ll face if they step out of line, Bucher said.

“The goal is to improve academics and students’ self discipline,” Butcher said.