New era in EHS Athletic Department

By Allen LaMountain

   A new era in any endeavor of life can be a trying time. But for new Elizabethton High School athletic director Larry Alderson, it's a time to pull together and keep a positive outlook for the future.
   "I am very appreciative to of the opportunity that I have been given," said Alderson. "But really, the groundwork has been already set down. I just want to try and maintain the great sports tradition that we have always had at Elizabethton High School.
   "I don't anticipate a lot of changes, I think things are on solid footing. I'll just settle in and get my feet wet as fast as I can."
   Alderson, who was named to the post on Monday, has been a sports enthusiast all his life, since his earliest recollections, and his appointment to athletic director's post will be a way for him to get back into the thing he loves, namely, Cyclone sports.
   "I have wanted to get back into sports for some time now," said Alderson. "Sports is just something that I have a love for, and Cyclone sports in particular. This is an opportunity that I cherish and will do the best job I can. I want to be able to give something back to the community that has supported the EHS sports programs."
   Alderson has been in charge of the EHS intermural sports program since 1980, and also has experience as a sports coordinator that he acquired while in military service.
   Alderson began his playing career in Haysi High School, Virginia, near what he called 'the coalfields' and was a four-sport letterman.
   While at Haysi, Alderson was a member of a state championship squad in basketball, but was also a standout in track and field as well as baseball and football.
   In 1970, legendary Cyclone coach Lynn Goddard hired Alderson to his football staff, and Alderson worked his way to become the Cyclones head football coach in 1974.
   "Men like Lynn Goddard, John Treadway and Sid Hathaway gave me my first chance at Elizabethton," said Alderson. "We had a good group of coaches. Willie Church was in that group, Ed Alexander was in that group of coaches in the early 70's. They all encouraged me and supported me."
   Alderson also coached track and field for Betsy from 1971-73 and had as one of his star athlete's Jim Presnell, who would go on to win the state championship in the discus under Alderson.
   "I was Jim Presnell's track coach," Alderson said. "People may not know that, but I was his coach when he won the state championship. We had some good success in track and that has continued and we had some good cross country teams during that time as well.
   "EHS has such a rich tradition of having top athletes and a top athletic program over the years and I'm proud to have been a part of that and maybe write a new chapter (as A.D.)"
   Community and family have always been a big part of Alderson's life, who along with his wife Sue, have two children enrolled at East Tennessee State.
   "My son Ryan is a senior at ETSU, studying sports management and marketing," Alderson commented. "My daughter Carrie is a junior and is studying pre-education, and my wife Sue is a librarian here at EHS."
   After a short acclamation period, what Alderson wants now is to simply get on with the task that he has been entrusted with and said, "I talked with coach Presnell and I'll sit down with Jim again at the end of the week. He'll take me through some things that he has been working on. There are a lot of things that need to be done."
   One of the biggest tasks Alderson said he wants to accomplish is to, "Make sure that everything stays positive. We have a good athletic program here, with great coaches and tremendous student athlete's and I just want to be a part of it."