Boonville Athletic Director Kevin Davis certainly was a busy man during the previous 2017-18 school year.

If you are a follower of Boonville athletics, you would have noticed a common theme from the most recent school year. That theme being first year head coaches.

That's right. If you were doing a running tally throughout the school year from fall to spring, you would have counted four new head coaches.

As AD, it was Davis' job to fill all of these vacancies. The candidates Davis ultimately chose for the open coaching positions included Natalie Macaulay (volleyball), Brian Schoonover (boys basketball), Eric Barnes (baseball), and Alex Baumgart (softball).

"The process of finding new coaches

see coaches/page b2

is becoming more and more difficult," Davis said. "There are not as many teachers/coaches as there were in the past. Lay coaches (non-teacher) do not stay in coaching as long because of small coaching stipends and conflicts with their jobs. The process of filling our coaching vacancies was very exciting, however. I feel like we fulfilled all of our positions with coaches that are committed to the vision of Boonville High School."

The number of applicants Davis had to review certainly backed up Davis' claim that there are too few coaches.Volleyball and softball only had one applicant apiece. Baseball had two while the boys basketball coaching vacancy saw Davis interview seven candidates.

Of these four vacancies, the most easiest to fill was that of the softball coach. Replacing a legend like Mike Wilson might have sounded difficult but there was someone already waiting in the wings to replace Wilson after he announced his retirement.

Alex Baumgart, who had previously played under Wilson and was his assistant during Wilson's last two years, was the "natural successor to Wilson" according to Davis. Baumgart posted a winning record during her first season as head coach with a young team and should be better next season as they only lose one senior.

In volleyball, Natalie Macaulay also had a young squad that had their share of struggles at the beginning but improved as the season wore on. The Lady Pioneers finished the season with a 8-14 record. Boonville is only losing two key players from last season so look for them to improve as well.

Boonville's new boys basketball coach Brian Schoonover is a protege of legendary Tecumseh coach Kevin Oxley as he was his assistant for four seasons. Schoonover inherited a team who only won three games the previous season. Schoonover improved on that by winning five with the help of Pioneer all-time leading scorer Glen Rouch. With Rouch now gone, Schoonover will need to find ways to replace his scoring.

The biggest surprise for the Pioneers during the most recent school year might have been the success of the baseball team. Under Eric Barnes, the Pioneers would go 18-6 and would win the Big Eight conference championship outright. Barnes was named SW Indiana Coach of the Year by the Evansville Courier & Press. With most of their key players returning, Boonville should have another solid year in baseball.

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