Midland Valley High Welcomes New Varsity Football Coach Kenny Freeman
By Larry Wood/Aiken Standard
GRANITEVILLE – The state of Midland Valley High School is strong – Valley Strong.
Principal Carl White used the school's brand Monday to introduce his State of the Valley address for students, faculty, parents, community members and supporters of the Mustang Nation.
During his address, White welcomed Kenny Freeman, the school's new varsity football coach, and gave updates on the Early College thematic program and construction plans for a new addition.
Freeman, an assistant coach at Dutch Fork High School in Lexington-Richland School District 5, has 20 years experience coaching high school and college football. He has won four state high school championships.
Freeman said commitment will be the building block in developing Midland Valley High's football program.
“The first thing we do in building a program is we all go in the same direction,” he said. “Commitment comes from the coaches being committed to the players, and the players being committed to each other. “Once we've got that and commitment to the community and the school, then great things happen.”
Focus, in the classroom, on the playing field and at home, is the second component, Freeman said.
“When you're in school, you should be concentrating on that classroom right then and right there,” he said. “When you're at football practice, you concentrate on football. When you're with your family, you concentrate on your family.
“We're going to do things right. Coaches are going to do things right. Kids are going to do things right. We're going to have pride and hold our heads up no matter what happens, and we're going to know that we have pride in our community and our school.”
Freeman said commitment and focus will lead to “everybody who's part of the program – coaches and players – being able to look in the mirror and say I did my best.”
“I believe in that. I live by that,” he said. “My kids have it painted on their mirror in their bathroom. Every night before they go to bed, they look in the mirror – and the mirror cannot lie – and see I did my best. And by doing that, we're going to do great things.”
White said the first 12 students in the class of 2019 will graduate with associate degrees from Aiken Technical College as part of Midland Valley High's Early College thematic program this spring. Four of those students will earn an associate of arts degree and an associate of science degree.
The students will graduate from ATC in May, completing the Early College program before they receive their high school diplomas in June.
The Early College thematic program, a partnership with ATC, allows Midland Valley High students to earn college credit while still in high school.
The number of students in the second cohort – juniors in the class of 2020 – more than doubled to 26, and 28 students, sophomores in the class of 2021, are in the third cohort, White said.
White said construction on a new addition to help alleviate overcrowding is expected to begin in June.
The addition will include a new auxiliary gym, multipurpose room, additional dining space and an enhanced site plan for traffic flow.
Construction is expected to be complete in January 2021.
White said his Midland Valley High is committed to giving back to other schools in the community.
Since 2012, faculty and staff have donated $9,200 to area elementary schools to feed hungry students, White said. Most recently, Midland Valley donated $1,000 to Jefferson Elementary in Bath.
White introduced his address with an original rap and vocal song, “Midland Valley Strong,” the school's brand and the words that greet students, faculty and visitors over the main entrance.