1st and 15 for Coach Sheppard


Matthew Sander

Have a nice day! Coach Sheppard holds the door for students as they leave for their sports. This would be his first year at Meridian as a teacher. "Everything is going good. [I] enjoy the students... enjoy the staff. [We] have got a great administration, great environment, and school building," states Sheppard.

Matthew Sander, Reporter

As the school year draws to a close, Coach Sheppard will end his first year as a teacher and head football coach at Meridian High School.

While it may be Sheppard’s first year at Meridian, he has taught for 15 years at schools such as Eisenhower, Hope Academy, and MacArthur. Sheppard also has continued at MacArthur as their track coach this season.

“Kids are kids, but the day to day is different. As far as the environment. Fifteen-year-olds, no matter where you are, pretty much act the same,” states Sheppard.

The two positions opened up last summer with the departure of the previous coach, Scott Davis. Sheppard, who was already a part of the coaching, made the decision to take the step up to head coach to be easy. “We had been living in the district for about five years. My kids were in the district, my wife worked in the district. So when an opportunity became available for me to come down here, it was a no-brainer,” states Sheppard. Senior linebacker Andrew Cromwell was happy with the change because “we got the dub.”

The football field would not be the only place to feel Sheppard’s impact. For the first time since Mr. Stogsdill was the P.E. teacher at the high school, Wednesdays would be an integrated day of games between athletic and regular P.E. students. Junior Baylee Coffman feels that the integration between the two classes helps her bond with students she would not normally interact with. Coffman would later state, “As a teacher, he is really funny. He made things really interesting.”

“I enjoy [coaching and teaching] both differently. Coaching, you can isolate just that sport. Teaching, you work with all kinds of students, so you are not just working with an individualized group,” states Sheppard. He added, “It’s nice because then you get to meet other students and work with other students besides just the ones that compete for you.”