Harrell, DeHart Named to Mohawk Coaching Vacancies
Following an exhaustive search, which included interviews with a number of candidates, the Piggott Mohawk football team will be led by homegrown talent this fall as assistant coach Michael Harrell has been named head coach. During a special called meeting of the Piggott School Board on Monday July 7, a contract was extended to Harrell to coach the football team for the 2014-15 school year. Afterward, the board voted to hire current PHS principal and former Mohawk boy's coach, Barry DeHart to lead the girls' basketball program for the coming campaign. DeHart, who guided the Mohawk boys team in the 1990's, will continue his duties as principal at Piggott High and indicated he only plans to coach the girls team for one season.
Harrell was a member of the Mohawk football team during his days at PHS, graduating in the early 1990's He later became involved in the local peewee football program, and then returned to school to earn his degree and become certified as a coach. He has been with the local district for 10 years, and has recently had great success coaching both the seventh grade and junior high programs.
With just two months before the season opener, Harrell knows he has his work cut out for him--but he also likes the challenge. "Hey, we're fixing to start getting after it," he remarked following the meeting. "Right now we'll be spending our time in the weight room conditioning--we're going to be in the best shape of our lives. We'll also be hammering-in my defense as we look forward to August and get ready for the season, I have high expectations."
For the newly appointed coach, the situation will be a familiar one as Harrell has had the chance to watch the current crop of Mohawks make their way through the system and to the varsity level. "I know exactly what I'm getting into, it's not like I'm coming in to this blind," he noted. "I'll be getting with my assistant coaches and the heat's about to be turned up--not only on me, but on everybody. It's about people accomplishing things they didn't know they could accomplish and we're gonna' get after it."
As a student of the game, and long time follower of the Mohawks, Harrell is well aware of the standard set by the coaches and players who have come before. "I can promise the people of Piggott that we're going to have a competitive football program they can be proud of," he added. "You know, this is a football town and in my mind failure is not an option."
The Tribe will compete in the newly-realigned 3A-3, and will kick-off the new season on the road at Marked Tree on Friday, Sept. 5, in non-conference play. The following week, on Friday, Sept. 12, they'll host the Portageville Bulldogs for the home opener at Parker Field, and currently week three is still an open date.
The conference schedule will begin Friday, Sept. 26, as the Mohawks host the Osceola Seminole, and the following week, Friday, Oct. 3, they're slated to visit Rivercrest. One of the new conference members, the Cedar Ridge Timberwolves, will host the Tribe on Friday, Oct. 10 and the following week the other new member, the Melbourne Bearkatz, will visit Piggott. On Friday, Oct. 24 the Mohawks will visit Manila, and on Halloween night they'll host the Hoxie Mustangs at Parker Field. The Tribe will also have the chance to defend their back-to-back Rice Bowl victories against the Corning Bobcats at home for the second year in a row as they'll host their cross-county rivals on Thursday, Nov. 6.
The opening at Piggott came following the exit of David Hendrix, who resigned earlier this year to take the top job at his alma mater at Rector. In his final season with the Mohawks Hendrix guided the team to a 2-7-1 record, and capped his career with an emotional home win over Corning, the program where he served as an assistant prior to coming to the Tribe.
On the other hand, DeHart notes his service as girls head basketball coach is more of a stop-gap measure. "The board asked if I would take the job for one season, and I agreed," the former Greene County Tech standout explained. "This will hopefully give us a chance to try to find a good long term candidate for the job, who can continue to grow and improve the program going forward."
DeHart came to Piggott from West Plains, Mo., prior to the1992-93 season, and guided the basketball Tribe for six successful campaigns. He then assumed the duties of principal at PHS, a job he has held since. He'll be assisted by Melissa Hopkins-Turner.
The head girls basketball job became vacant earlier this year, as Alan Rabjohn was transferred from the position to assistant boy's basketball coach under David Reynolds.
With the action taken at Monday night's meeting, the only head coaching job still vacant for the coming year is for the Mohawk baseball team. That job became vacant this past spring when Coach Shawn Hearn chose to step-down from the position after several successful seasons.