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Holly Hill Academy High School

Change in the making at Holly Hill Academy

 

By David Shelton

Senior Writer

Holly Hill – The summer was one of major change in regards to the athletic department at Holly Hill Academy.

In May, the school announced that athletic director and head football coach Don Shelley would not be retained. Shelley, who also coached the golf team during the spring, was set to begin his 13th year at the school before being told he would not be coming back.

Shelley led the football program to a pair of state championships, winning the SCISA eight-man championship in 2007 and the Class A 11-man title in 2014. He also won nine state championships as the coach at Orangeburg Prep. Holly Hill Academy’s football field was named Don Shelley Field prior to the 2017 football season.

Taking over the role of athletic director is former Holly Hill coach Michael Nelson. Nelson coached the school’s baseball program, winning a state championship, in his prior stint but has spent the last five years as the volleyball and boys basketball coach at Orangeburg Prep.

In addition to taking over as the athletic director, Nelson will also coach the varsity volleyball, varsity girls basketball and the varsity baseball teams. He also is listed as the junior varsity volleyball and junior varsity girls basketball coach.

Taking over as the head football coach is former junior varsity coach Tommy Breland. Holly Hill will again compete in the eight-man ranks as the school continues to suffer from low enrollment numbers.

The school’s website lists as assistant varsity football coaches Seth Patrick, Billy Pelloni, David Walling, Robert Rickenbacker and Josh Brooks.

Heath Prescott is assuming duties as head junior varsity coach.

Amy Atkinson will return to coach the varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders while Aaron Johnson will continue in his role as the varsity and junior varsity boys basketball coach.

Veteran Henry Lockey will return next spring as the varsity softball coach while Breland is the junior varsity softball coach. Lockey has more than 300 career coaching victories and the school’s softball field is named in his honor.

 Not retained as head baseball coach was Josh Christian, who in his only season led the program to the Class A state finals before finishing as runner-up to Dorchester Academy.

 

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