“Both will be a big addition to Walker Valley,” athletic director Mike Turner commented.
Nunnelly is no stranger to Mustang territory, having graduated from the northern Bradley county school back in 2007.
“Coach Jasen Parks was my head coach in high school. I graduated from Walker Valley in 2007 and went on to run at Bryan College,” Nunnelly said. “I volunteered one year with Walker Valley’s track program, last year I was an assistant for Jasen, and this year he handed it over to me.”
For the Walker Valley alumnus, being named the head coach of the track team and teaching at the school was always in his career goals.
“Basically this was my goal all along when I went to college and ran. I wanted to get a teaching job at Walker Valley and I wanted to one day become head coach of the track program. I didn’t plan on it happening this soon, though,” Nunnelly explained. “Hopefully I’ll be able to do as good as a job as Coach Parks did. In my mind he will always be my head coach and hopefully I can get the job done like he did, because he did a great job.”
Coach Nunnelly hopes to further expand and build from the foundation built by Parks in the previous years.
“I think we can only improve from where we have been as a team for a couple years. We’ve had our standouts in track and cross country these past couple years, but I think that overall as a team we have only improvements to make this year,” Nunnelly commented. “I’m looking forward to seeing how we develop and come together as a team, get in better shape and learn how to compete more.”
New girls soccer coach Nathan Brown joins the program having an extensive background in the sport.
Brown was a four-year starter on the Lee University men’s soccer team and had been working as an assistant coach under Flames coach Paul Furey.
Brown feels that the job of being a coach consists of being able to motivate the team, which he is prepared to do.
“The one thing that people should know about me is that I like to motivate, and am a good motivator,” Brown said. “Hopefully from the coaching experience that I’ve had I will be able to get the best out of the girls and bring a sense of team unity and cohesion.”
The Lady Mustangs have nine girls returning this year from last year’s difficult 2-12 season.
“Last year they won two games and lost 12. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, but hopefully in the next couple of years we can change that around,” Brown stated. “For me, the only way is up. If we have a target of five or six games then we will be on track.”
Brown feels that the team needs to work on not only the physical aspect of the game, but on the mental aspect as well.
“They’ve just got to believe in themselves and what I’m telling them. I believe in them already, and if they believe that I believe in them, then they can believe in themselves and we’ve got half the battle won already psychologically.”
The new coach admits that high school soccer is highly competitive, but still realizes that his team needs to be able to enjoy themselves.
“We’ve had two team camps already and they can tell that I’m very hard on them and want the best for them,” Brown said. “We’re going to train extremely hard, but there is going to be that element of fun and enjoyment about it. If they’re not enjoying it then what’s the point in doing it?”
The Lady Mustangs and their new coach will be put to the test soon, as they host Silverdale for a scrimmage on Aug. 12.
The season gets underway on the road Aug. 20 for Walker Valley, as they travel to Boyd-Buchanan. The Lady Mustangs’ first home game will be on Aug. 22, when Sweetwater comes to town.