The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

March 22, 2014

Whitt, Davis selected as All-County coaches

— One of them is approaching 500 career wins. The other just finished his first season as a varsity head coach. No matter the amount of games they’ve coached, both Chris Whitt and Josh Davis had successful seasons at their respective schools this season.

The Tanner boys coach and East Limestone’s girls coach were both recently selected by their peers as Coach of the Year in Limestone County.

“It’s always an honor, especially since we’re one of the smaller schools in the county,” Whitt said. “Any time you’re selected by your peers, it’s always an honor to get that.

The coaching veteran returned to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Complex for the Final 48 for the third time in four seasons in February. After winning the Class 2A state title in 2013, Whitt reached the semifinals with by far his least inexperienced team since winning the school’s second boys championship in 2011.

“Back in the summertime, I was really scratching my head about what we were going to do,” said Whitt. “We had a slow start, but we expected that. We always keep preaching to them play well in January, and they bought into it.”

One of the players that helped lead the team back to Birmingham was Whitt’s son, Blake. The senior guard played on the 2013 state championship team while Blake’s brother and Whitt’s older son, Blake, was on the 2011 2A title team.

“That’s a good experience. I recommend that to anyone — getting to spend every day with them in practice,” Whitt said about coaching his sons. “Blake came up with some huge plays for us this year. He made some key steals for us at the end of that game at Wallace that helped us get to Birmingham.”

Davis has time to catch up with Whitt’s 467 career wins, as the first-year head coach took East Limestone’s girls team to the Northwest Regional at Wallace State for the first time since 1998.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start my varsity career,” said Davis. “Expectations for this group were high. I had high expectations and I know the girls did, too. I wasn’t expecting (to be Coach the Year) my first year. It really wasn’t what I did but what the girls did.”

The Indians went 26-8, won the Limestone County Tournament and 5A, Area 15 Tournament, hosting the area tourney for the first time in more than a decade after going a perfect 6-0 in area play.

“The first meeting I had with them, we set a goal to host and win the area tournament. After that, we wanted to make it to Wallace. Once you get there, anything can happen, but it wasn’t to be.”

After taking a big first half lead, East Limestone fell just short in the regional semifinal in a two-point loss to Pleasant Grove.

 

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Local News 2
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