Kelly hires Bell City native to lead boys basketball team

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nathan Wills, a Southeast Missouri State grad, becomes coach.

Kelly High School has tapped Bell City native Nathan Wills as its next boys basketball coach.

Wills has been an associate head varsity coach at Duchesne High School in St. Charles the past three years. Along with his basketball duties, Wills will also be the head baseball coach. Wills, 28, is a Southeast Missouri State graduate.

"I think Kelly's a great school," Wills said. "I think Cory Johnson began a great program and I'm really looking forward to expanding what he's done there."

Johnson, who had held down both positions along with athletic director, stepped down to take a job as an assistant basketball coach at Jackson.

"I'm very pleased with [our hiring] of Nathan Wills," Kelly principal Tom Hulshof said. "He has big shoes to fill, but I think he will do a great job for us."

Matt Hale will take over as athletic director. Hale is the track coach at Kelly.

This will be the first head coaching position for Wills, who has four years coaching experience as an assistant.

Wills said he wasn't necessarily looking to coming back to Southeast Missouri.

"It was a plus, but really just an added bonus," he said. "I've had a lot of respect for Kelly starting when I was in high school and saw they had an opening."

Saxony golf tournament

Saxony Lutheran's first-year golf program will host a 15-team invitational today at Dalhousie Golf Club.

Central, Jackson, Notre Dame, Perryville, Advance and host Saxony Lutheran are among the local teams entered.

Crowell resigns

Central wrestling coach Josh Crowell resigned his coaching position Monday.

Crowell spent 10 years with the program, the past eight as head coach. During his tenure Crowell helped establish a junior high program and had several all-state wrestlers.

"Whoever inherits the program, I think they're coming into a good situation," Crowell said. "There's tremendous support in the community."

Crowell said he plans to pursue a position in administration and felt now was the right time to focus on his professional career.

"I went into education to help kids mold their futures," Crowell said.

Locals headed to TRCC

Three Rivers Community College will have a local feel to it next year with the addition of a pair of all-state Delta graduates in Kaci Menz and Shea Smith.

Menz and Smith both recently signed with the Raiders. Jackson graduate Bobbie Jones just completed her freshman year at Three Rivers this past season.

Delta won district titles in all four years Menz and Smith were on the team, reaching the state final four in 2006. Smith and Menz were both all-state that season as Delta finished third.

This past season, Delta entered the sectional round with a 26-0 record before falling to Scott County Central. Menz was first-team all-state. Smith played sparingly during the season while recovering from a knee injury.

Menz will also play softball at Three Rivers and will be joined by Notre Dame senior Cortney Ostendorf. Ostendorf, a shortstop for the Bulldogs, also recently signed with Three Rivers.

Ostendorf helped the Bulldogs to back-to-back final fours her sophomore and junior seasons, and this past season hit .391 with 27 runs scored and 24 RBIs while also being known as one of the top fielding shortstops in the region.

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