There has certainly been no lack of change in Newton County High School athletics since the 2012-13 school year concluded.
Sure, every summer, players leave their former teams to enter college or the work force. But this time around, it seems there has been just as many coaches moving on from Alcovy and Newton high schools.
Newton football coach Cortez Allen and baseball coach Vincent Byams were the first two to move on, followed by two of Alcovy's three departing coaches. Tigers' basketball coach Eugene Brown has moved on and Alcovy softball coach Monica Marks has also decided to step away from Alcovy. Just a week ago, Alcovy lost its third coach as Kidada Holtzclaw, who has won more than 90 games in her five seasons, also decided to leave the area.
While there is sadness in the fact the coaches have left, the movement this offseason is a good thing.
None of the departed coaches were let go in unfavorable situations and all have been successful in leading their respective teams. Allen led the Rams' football team to the playoffs in his final season, finishing second in Region 2-AAAAAA. Byams also led Newton, this time its baseball team, to the Class AAAAAA playoffs in his final season with the Rams.
At Alcovy, Brown led the team to the state's elite eight in 2011-12 and brought its basketball programs to new heights. Marks also was a playoff-bound coach as the Lady Tigers' softball team was 28-6-1 in 2012, winning a Region 2-AAAAAA title and reaching the state playoffs' second round.
The success these coaches had in Newton County has led them to get opportunities at schools that are either larger, more traditionally associated with winning or closer to their hometowns. The winning ways displayed by the Alcovy and Newton coaches also put a spotlight on both themselves and the county's athletic programs as other schools knew this was a place to find talented people.
Newton and Alcovy will now have to look for new talented coaches to carry on the winning ways, but the good news is the reputation of those winning ways will only lead to more positive results. Rams and Tigers fans, along with Eastside supporters, have seen victorious teams and known about the success of the area's prep athletes, and now so have the people running athletic programs in DeKalb, Gwinnett and other metro Atlanta counties.