Smith on Sports: Trussell cares about athletes that attend SHS

Danny P. Smith

Staff Writer

There's one thing that’s very evident about Dr. Cheyenne Trussell in the six months that he’s been the athletic director at Starkville High School.

Whether it was Carter Bentley, Jariyah Covington, Blake Rogers or any other student-athlete, Trussell showed that he cares.

All anyone had to do is watch how Trussell handled athletic signing ceremonies to realize that.

Trussell understands just how big of a deal it is to send a student-athlete to the next level and he wants to make their signing a memorable moment for them.

The Yellowjackets kept Trussell busy with several signings at the school library since his arrival in January.

Even though the signings came quite frequently, Trussell handled them all the same.

Trussell usually opens with some brief remarks, then asks a member of the SHS administration present to make some comments and then turns things over to the coaches to give their thoughts on the player.

Before hearing from the student-athlete, Trussell always asks the parents if they would like to say a few words. Some jump at the chance and others are more reluctant, but it’s pretty neat that Trussell gives them that opportunity. For those parents who do talk, it’s obvious how proud they are of the accomplishments of their sons and daughters.

Once the administration, coaches and parents have their say, the student-athlete makes the announcement of where they are going for the next level. Trussell never lets the cat out of the bag and wants to make sure the student-athlete gets to reveal the choice in their own way.

That was pretty much the same with coaching searches.

It was pretty much known hours before Luke Adkins was introduced as the new head baseball coach of the Jackets that he was going to be the person to replace Travis Garner, but as any sharp athletic director would, Trussell did not want to confirm the hire of Adkins until the school board had made it official, which it did in a 4-0 vote.

The process to hire Adkins only took about three weeks and even though Trussell didn’t want to rush things, he wanted to get someone in place in time to help manage the summer league schedule.

Adkins certainly seems to be the right choice for SHS.

Trussell said one of the main things he was looking for in a baseball coach was someone who related to the players. In some of the interaction that Adkins has had with the Jackets over the summer, it appears that he communicates with them very well.

It will be interesting to see how SHS looks next spring with Adkins in charge.

In about another month, Trussell will see the Jackets compete for the first time in football as athletic director.

Starkville went all of the way to the Class 6A State championship game under head coach Chris Jones last season and another successful season is anticipated.

If the Jackets can make another run at a title, it would be the start of another great athletic year and a possible path to that All-Sports Trophy in Class 6A that Trussell desires.

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.