JFK coach celebrates fantastic year
by Donell Maxie
May 18, 2014 | 3013 views | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John F. Kennedy High School track, cross country and girls basketball coach Linda Allen had a great year winning the state championship in basketball and girls track and finishing second in boys cross country and boys track.
John F. Kennedy High School track, cross country and girls basketball coach Linda Allen had a great year winning the state championship in basketball and girls track and finishing second in boys cross country and boys track.
slideshow
John F. Kennedy High School coach Linda Allen is a fascinating woman.

For nearly 30 years, Allen has taught and coached at the school and in that span she has endured low moments and celebrated very high ones.

With all of her successes and failures as a coach, Allen has stood steadfast and in doing so the fascinating coach experienced one of the most fascinating years of her life.

In the fall, Allen led the JFK Boys Cross-Country team to a first place tie with Hickory Flat High School for the 1A State Championship. Because the sport does not allow ties, the rules mandated that the event be decided by who had the highest sixth place finish and that went to Hickory Flat because their sixth place runner came in 23rd and JFK's came in 27th.

Despite the turnout, Allen was excited and proud of her seven runners for getting to the state and for winning it even though in the end they walked away with silver instead of gold.

As the calendar rolled over into the New Year, Allen and the Lady Hornets basketball team found themselves riding the wave of an undefeated season.

The team dismantled the competition on its way to winning the North Central Athletic Conference Tournament, the Annual Bolivar County Tournament, the Region 3-1A Tournament, the 1A North Half Tournament and finished the season off with the 1A State Championship, which was the first in school history. The ladies also maintained their balance on that undefeated wave through out and finished the year perfect at 32-0.

Immediately following the basketball season, Allen gathered her troops for the track and field season and led both teams to the 1A State Meet. The boys finished second, but the girls proved to be just as awesome in track as they were in basketball and won it all making it their second track championship in three years.

With all the accomplishments this season, Allen said it has been an awesome year.

"To have the young men and young women work as hard as they have for John F. Kennedy High School, I can't even put in words what it means to me. To have a year like this I know that miracles do happen," said Allen.

Coaching at any level can be difficult, but when you are the coach of three sports at a small Delta school with limited resources and a limited pool of players to choose from things can be even more complex.

Those things have never affected Allen nor will she use it as an excuse when it comes to getting her players ready to perform.

“You have to surround yourself with coaches who have the same vision as you do. In the Bible it says that iron sharpens iron and it also tells you about wisdom. You must have someone who is wise and can help you carry out something you set out to do long before they met you," said Allen.

Allen said this season coaches like Arthur Floyd, Gil Thompson and Sheldon Hodge were instrumental in the overall success of all the programs.

When talking about her legacy, Allen said she only desires to help anyone in anyway she can.

"I would tell young coaches to love what they do and love the children regardless and be prepared to listen to them because if you do they will work for you," Allen added.