LAKEVIEW — Mark Nichols has been Lakeview Middle School’s track coach for what he believes is 10 years.
“I forget what year I started there,” he said.
Nichols isn’t likely to forget the year he started as the high school boys coach, as he is taking over for Sean Rinehart.
“I had been the middle school coach for a number of years,” Nichols said. “I’ve been involved with the system for a while now.”
Nichols said the time was right to take the position.
“It was the right time to move,” he said. “My son was going to high school next year for varsity. I had been thinking about it for a couple of years and the opportunity was now.”
Nichols explained why he didn’t take the job before Rinehart took it.
“I wanted to do one more year of middle school because I had a lot of talent on the middle school team,” he said. “I was asked if I was interested in the job but I wanted to finish out the middle school.”
Nichols has a simple goal for the boys track team.
“Go forward,” he said. “We have a lot of talent there. We can be successful. I already know the teams’ strengths because I coached them in middle school.”
Those strengths involve a mixture of returning boys and an influx of new freshmen coming into the program from the middle school team he coached, he said.
“We have two juniors that placed in the state last year, then we have some young talent that is coming up that will be ready for next year,” he said.
Nichols had a hard time thinking about his long-term goals for the team were.
“To be successful year after year,” he said. “Numbers. Track is all about having a large team and a dedicated team.”
Nichols said there will be some work to do to get ready for next season.
“We’re starting a new league so it will be different competition,” he said. “Most kids play other sports. We just have to work hard and be dedicated.”
The new Central State Activities Association will consist of two divisions in which the Wildcats will be in the Silver Division, with Hesperia, Holton, Kent City, Morley Stanwood and White Cloud, starting in the fall.