Midland Valley Welcomes New Head Football Coach, School Updates Provided During ‘State of the Valley’ Event
Kenny Freeman long ago placed a mental check mark next to Midland Valley High School as a place where he could definitely see himself coaching someday. The players were tough, they always played hard, and the community provided lots of support for the program.
Monday, it all became a reality as Freeman was officially introduced as the next head football coach of the Mustangs during the school’s “State of the Valley” event.
Having coached against the Mustangs on a couple of occasions and seen first-hand the effort of the players and how much support the team received, he came away impressed. Now the Mustangs are his players and Midland Valley his team, and he couldn’t be happier.
“I was coaching at another school and we were playing Midland Valley and going for a region title and they just destroyed us, and then another year where it looked like on paper we should have won easily they really battled us and I just remember how hard they played,” Freeman stated. “I looked at the setting here and the support of the community and it was always a place where I knew if there were ever an opportunity here I knew I would apply. I’m thrilled to be here.”
Freeman said rebuilding Midland Valley’s football program, which played for a Class 3-A championship in 2015 but was 0-10 during the 2018 season, will first require commitment – the importance of which he says comes from time spent with head coach Tom Knotts at Dutch Fork High School. The Silver Foxes have won three consecutive Class 5-A football state championships.
“The number one thing is commitment,” Freeman commented. “When you have commitment of the coaches to the players, players to the coaches, our team to the community and the community to us, we can do wonderful things. We are going to do everything we can to minimize our mistakes because the teams that make the fewest mistakes win ballgames.”
The event began with a presentation from Midland Valley High School’s principal, Mr. Carl White, who provided a number of school updates for parents and stakeholders, including a look at the school’s highly successful Early College program and partnership with Aiken Technical College.
The first cohort of Midland Valley Early College students will graduate from Aiken Tech in early May with either an Associate of Arts degree or an Associate of Science degree. Some of the students will actually graduate with both degrees prior to high school commencement in June.
“It’s been a long journey, but I am really excited to finally be reaching this milestone in my life,” stated Midland Valley High School senior and Early College student Jade Whitfield. “Sometimes I have to sit back and just say, wow, we finally made it. It’s just amazing that we are about to graduate. Our teachers helped us throughout and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been amazing.”
“Early College is also free, so you have to think about that,” Whitfield added, saying the program has many advantages for students. “I believe the only thing I ever paid for were pencils. You will definitely have to make sacrifices, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.”
Whitfield said she plans to major in Biological Sciences and attend the University of South Carolina at Columbia, with a goal of one day becoming an orthodontist.
Another student, Midland Valley High School junior Allison Bryant, who plans to someday teach music, said choosing to participate in the Early College program has been a great decision.
“Early College provides students with an opportunity to get ahead in their lives and their careers and it has been an amazing experience,” Bryant commented. “This is also a great option to help my parents and myself with student debt because it is free. Our school does a great job of getting the word out about Early College and the support I have received has been excellent.”
White also recognized the school’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. Russell Saunders; First Year Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Mary Schwartz; and Giving Even More (GEM) winner Mrs. Pamela Meyer, before providing stakeholders with a number of school updates related to academics, athletics and upcoming new construction to relieve overcrowding.
According to White, Midland Valley’s academic goals include an overall End of Course (EOC) passing rate of 70 percent, a 90-percent graduation rate, 700 Advanced Placement exams administered, 17 Million Dollars in Scholarships, ac ACT composite score of 20 for the school, an SAT composite score of 1040, and six college credits earned for every Midland Valley graduate.
Recent improvements and upgrades have included the instillation of new security cameras throughout the building, new weight room equipment, a new football scoreboard, new fencing for the football and softball fields, and new stairs and handicap access to the baseball field.
Meanwhile, construction on a new classroom wing, auxiliary gymnasium, multi-purpose room, and dining facilities is set to begin in June. An enhanced plan for traffic flow will also be implemented by completion of the project around January of 2021.
LINK TO DISTRICT PRESS RELEASE: 2019 PR STATE OF THE VALLEY EVENT