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Crockett names new baseball, soccer coaches

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Jul 5, 2018 at 7:20 PM

David Crockett is turning to a pair of enthusiastic first-time head coaches to take over its baseball and soccer programs.

Spencer Street, a former Science Hill and Milligan College standout who was an assistant at Daniel Boone last season, will take over the baseball program. Crockett alum Chris Kudera has been named the new head coach for the soccer program.

Street, 31, takes over baseball after the resignation of Nick Lingerfelt, who went 9-22 in one season with the Pioneers. However, the Pioneers lost eight games by just one run and eight of their nine wins came in the second half of the season.

"I'm excited to get this opportunity and to get to work," Street said. "They were really coming along and Coach Lingerfelt did a good job with them. There were just a few pieces missing here and there and we're hoping with some enthusiasm, we can iron some things out and be competitive."

Crockett athletic director Josh Kite, a former professional baseball player, likes what Street brings to the Jonesborough school.

"Spencer is a perfect fit for our baseball program," Kite said. "He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and he's been under the direction of Coach Rob Hoover at Boone. No doubt, Spencer will do things the right way."

Street thanked both the Crockett administration as well as Hoover and Boone athletic director Danny Good for their support. His biggest supporter is his wife and Street commented that his victory is her victory.

Obviously, he wants more victories on the field at Crockett and feels he's in a good place to take over the program after playing for coaches Bernie Young and Andy Wallen at Science Hill and coaches Nathan Meade and Ray Smith at Milligan College. He later served as a volunteer assistant at Science Hill with Ryan Edwards before becoming an assistant to Hoover at Daniel Boone.

"It goes back to the coaching I've had and to be able to prepare for each situation," Street said. "Coach Hoover is one of the best guys I know, a mentor who I really look up to. He taught me how to have relationships with the players and handle situations. He was graceful in every decision he made. He's a consummate professional and I learned so much from him.

"I got to play for some great coaches too and then coach Edwards was so good about scouting reports, practice planning and being prepared for each situation. I've just been fortunate to be around some great coaches my entire career."

NEW FOR SOCCER

On the pitch, the Pioneers turn to Kudera, a 2014 Crockett graduate. He played in the midfield with the Pioneers for coaches Tony Snapp and Dean Hogan. He takes over a boys' program which Michael Smelser coached for one season to a 6-10-1 record. Included in that record, the Pioneers recorded a District 1-AAA tournament win over rival Daniel Boone and played Science Hill to a scoreless tie.

"Chris is a young guy, who is full of energy and will bring that energy to the program," Kite said. "He comes into a program which has a lot of momentum. The boys were able to tie Science Hill for the first time. We hope Chris will be able to take that and move forward."

It is also the hope for 22-year-old Kudera, who coached at Jonesborough Middle School last season. He will be taking over both the girls and boys teams. His first-year goals aren't as much measured in wins and losses, but adding a layer to the foundation which Smelser started.

"I'm not looking for a certain amount of wins," Kudera said. "We need to build soccer where it's as important as the other sports in the community. Michael is a great coach and he did a lot of great things for the soccer community. I want to replicate a lot of those and move forward."

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