With the start of the 2019-20 academic year around the corner, the Sun will conduct interviews with athletic directors from its eight coverage area schools to discuss the state of each school’s athletic program.
The third installment is with Chetopa High School athletic director Jaunc Bradsahw, who is entering his second year in the position.
Bradshaw also serves as the school’s head girls basketball coach. He was also the football and boys basketball coach in 2018-19.
How did you handle balancing three head coaching jobs during your first year as athletic director last season?
“Sometimes I handled it well and other times I didn’t handle it as well as I should have. There were smaller things that I should’ve done differently. I expressed that in coaches meetings this year for me not being at 100 percent. This year, I’ll be asking more of our coaches this year. I’ll take more ownership and ask them to take more ownership of their teams.”
Now that you’ve hired a replacement football and boys basketball coach, what is a focus for you as you can dedicate more time as A.D.?
“I want to be at more games. Volleyball for instance, I want to be at their matches rather than just getting a call or email that says they won. I love to watch the kids. The girls and boys want to see me at the games, it shows I care. I want to support the kids and the coaching staff.”
Thoughts on new football and boys basketball coach Rick Aldridge...
“He’s doing a good job of trying to promote the program and the kids. He’s getting out in the community too. He’s trying to change the culture and build a program. You can see some of the changes already. The kids have responded well for the most part with him. When I stepped down, that was one of the reasons. We needed a new voice heard, and he’s done a good job with that.”
Balancing athletic director responsibilities with girls basketball coaching duties...
“At least I had the opportunity to do what I did last year. It won’t be nearly as much this year with only coaching basketball. I have a better grasp of my role as athletic director and I can separate that. I can do my coaching, step aside when the boys game comes along and be the administrator rather than going from one coach to another coach.”
Points of emphasis for the Chetopa athletic department heading into 2019-20...
“We want to be dedicated. Our girls programs have been rising in the last couple of years. Coach Jill Blackledge does a great job with our volleyball program. As for our boys program, we need the coaches and the kids to show dedication. They have to want to do things to feel like they’re taking ownership. They have to want to get better. So far with Coach Aldridge coming in, he’s got that going. This year as a whole, we want dedication and competing as hard as you can.”
What change to KSHSAA rules would you support?
“As far as the rule changes that KSHSAA does, and it can be more sports specific at times. For example, KSHSAA requires flags for line judges in volleyball. I don’t know why they did that. One hot topic for me, although it doesn’t affect Chetopa that much, is the classification of private versus public schools. Private schools have the upper hand because they get to pick and choose. Something has to be done about that. It’s starting to trickle down to 1A. That’s my biggest thing.”
Whether or not Chetopa athletics are in a good place heading into this year...
“I feel like it’s better than what it was the last couple of years. Volleyball won over 30 games last year, that’s never happened. Girls basketball was over .500 last year. That’s not something you hear from them consistently. Our boys have had some success in the past, but it’s dropped off. With the new hire and the way I see the kids are acting with him, they’re buying in. I feel like it’s in a better place because it’s starting to move forward. The culture and attitude and commitment is getting better.”