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Huntington coaches face possible changes

FERRIDAY — Huntington baseball coach Matt Mason may be looking for a job again in just one year’s time.

After arriving at Huntington in May 2009 to coach baseball, the possibility of Huntington closing down due to declining enrollment has forced Mason to inquire about coaching opportunities elsewhere.

“I’m not really at liberty to say (whether it’s closing for sure or not),” Mason said. “Everything I say is just speculation and opinion, but for me myself, I’m out looking for other opportunities, and whatever else I might find to do.

“I’d hate to be changing jobs again so soon, but that’s part of the profession. It’s not a setback, but at the same time, it’s a little stressful trying to find a new job.”

Boys and girls basketball coach Edwin White said a final decision on whether or not Huntington is closing is expected by the middle of this month.

“They’ve had several different dates set to reach the decision by,” White said. “It was originally supposed to be the second week of March, but they’ve changed it to the second week of April.”

And White said even though no final decision has been reached, from reading in between the lines, he’s expecting the school to shut its doors.

“I’m expecting closure,” White said. “From what I’ve gathered, the enrollment is not going where they want it to go, so the parents have already started putting their kids in Trinity, Monterey and some of those schools.”

That reality is disappointing for White, he said, since he took over the Huntington basketball program in hopes of turning them into reputable forces.

“I really thought the school would be open for a while, so now I’m in a dilemma of what I’m going to do next year,” White said. “I’ve gotten attached to the kids, so it’s hard for me mentally.

“It’s very disappointing to me, because I really thought it was a situation that could’ve gotten so much better. The kids really responded, and we came so far in such a short period of time.”

Football coach Chad Harkins said he’s also scouting out possible coaching jobs around the area, even if it means being an assistant.

“There are definitely a couple of schools around here I’m interested in,” Harkins said, though he declined to specify which ones.

“The bottom line is, though, they have to have a job opening. If it comes down to it, I’ll sell used cars with my mother-in-law, but I think it’ll all work out, and I’ll be coaching around here somewhere.”

Whatever happens, White said he hopes it works out best for the students.

“I just really wish that things could’ve been different,” White said. “I hope it’s a situation that will be resolved, because the kids deserve something stable and long-term.

“The community is a good community, and as a whole, I think they’ll come up with something beneficial for everyone.”

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