Busy Felder manages multiple duties
by Joe Medley
Apr 06, 2012 | 1544 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Shannon Felder has been a busy man this school year. A very, very busy man.

He coached Donoho’s football team through its third-round playoff run. He coached both of Donoho’s varsity basketball teams.

He’s also the athletics director, and this is Donoho’s year to serve as host school for all Calhoun County tournaments and meets.

Even better than someone who does a lot is someone who does a lot well, and Calhoun County basketball coaches have recognized his work with Donoho’s girls this past season.

The Falcons finished 16-8, went undefeated in area play and won the area tournament, and county coaches voted Felder the Class 1A-2A coach of the year.

“It’s a balancing act,” Felder said about his many duties. “The thing about it is there are so many folks that are working together at the school.

“It’s total involvement with the teachers, the administrators and the coaches and even the parents. It really hasn’t been as tough or as bad as it probably would have been if we didn’t have all that help.”

Ironically, Felder’s busy schedule helped him get the most out of Donoho’s girls’ basketball team. The Falcons had three veteran players missing when the season started, two because of busy schedules.

Junior forward Katherine Westbrook was balancing cheerleading and choir and wasn’t sure if basketball would be too much.

Anna Turner, a starter, played on Donoho’s state-championship volleyball team and wasn’t sure she was ready to jump right into basketball.

Felder tried to talk them back out onto the basketball court, and he made a compelling case.

“I generally would start naming all of the stuff I’m involved in,” he said. “Then I would say, ‘I’m not complaining.’”

Westbrook and Turner eventually came back out. So did sophomore guard Katie Athon, after being cleared by doctors.

“We still had a lot of games left, and those girls’ addition to the team made a big difference,” Felder said.

“It gave us a little bit more depth. It gave us a little bit more experience, because they were experienced players.

“Having those girls out there and bringing that experience to the team strengthened our team and really kind of got us going.”

A loss to Gaston in the sub-regional kept the Falcons short of their goal of reaching the Northeast Regional, but they realized goals of going undefeated in area play and playing host to the area tournament.

“I was certainly pleased with the work that took place throughout the season,” Felder said. “Going undefeated in the area and winning the area tournament and being able to see some of the seniors graduate on a high note was a positive.”

And the work goes on for Felder. Donoho still has the Calhoun County softball tournament and track meet to host, and the football team isn’t far from spring practice.

“Starting next week, we’ll start meeting, coaches will,” Felder said.

He’s looking forward to another year of hard work — minus all of the county-hosting responsibilities.

“When you’re able to balance the county tournaments, along with everything else, just having to just coach the sports next year will seem pretty easy for me,” he said. “All you have to do is worry about your teams.”

Joe Medley is The Star’s sports columnist. Reach him at 256-235-3576. On Twitter: jmedley_star.
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