Purple Cats ready to get going

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 11, 2017

Steven Kilcrease begins his second year as head coach at Ariton and he is bringing a familiar face to give him a hand.

Former Charles Henderson defensive Coordinator Chuck Dunn has been added to coaching staff as an assistant head coach.

“Chuck and I go way back, (he’s) one of my best friends,” Kilcrease said. “Never in a million years did I think it would happen. He is a huge asset to us … with his knowledge and background in coaching. The kids bought in quick in the spring and our coaches bought in too.”

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Dunn will coach the defense for the Purple Cats this season as well as help organize practice. He also will handle the weight program for all the sports and coach girls’ basketball.

“His plate is full no question about it,” Kilcrease said. “I will help coach girls basketball with him so we will get to coach together a lot. I am excited to have him.”

Ariton finished last season 6-5 overall and 3-3 in class 2A Region 2. The Purple Cats made it to the post season last year but were knocked out in round one by a 26-0 loss to Leroy.

Like most teams throughout the state, the Purple Cats have had to get used to a later start time to practice, but on Monday they officially got on the field.

“This is the first time where we have started school before football practice,” Kilcrease said. “That was unique, but we have had a good week so far. The kids were excited about getting out to work. They are working hard.”

The Cats run an up-tempo practice with the goal of having a shorter practice.

“Last year we went long at times during practice,” Kilcrease said. “We want to get these kids in and out as quick as possible while at the same time getting stuff done. It’s an up-tempo practice; we are moving from drill to drill as soon as possible.

Artion will travel to McKenzie on August 25 before kicking off against Goshen a week later on September 1 in Ariton.