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Rick May Celebrates His 400th Win and Assesses His Successful Coaching Career

RICK MAY CELEBRATES HIS SUCCESSFUL COACHING CAREER -- The Lady Pounders and their coaches pose for their annual team photos.

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RICK MAY CELEBRATES HIS SUCCESSFUL COACHING CAREER -- The Lady Pounders and their coaches pose for their annual team photos.

DayOnna Carson, Head Staff Writer

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On February 16, Central’s girls basketball team achieved a new milestone for their coach. The Lady Pounders beat the Howard Hustlin’ Tigers 44-8 during a tournament match. It was on that date that coach Rick May reached his 400th victory in his career.

May has attained both a bachelor’s and master’s degree while also being a part of the college basketball team at Freed-Hardeman University. He credits his high school coach in Virginia, Roscoe Dean, for inspiring him to become a coach one day.

“As a player myself I thought, ‘Wow, I’d might like to do something like that in the future.’ That was back in the seventies, but my coach was very influential,” May imparted.

May got his coaching start in Kentucky in 1981. He first began coaching for Bowling Green, but later moved to Chattanooga to embark on a new journey. His coaching transformed Boyd-Buchanan, leading them to some of the highest ranks before he started coaching for Central. Alongside coaching, he teaches history as well, but has also taught several other courses in the past including earth science and government.

This will mark his 36th year of coaching girls basketball, although he has also coached boys basketball in the past.

“My favorite aspect about coaching is the relationships that I get to form with my players. I can help my students relate basketball to life through my coaching,” expounded May, “What I want my students to take away from the sport is that there are some things you want really badly, but they don’t always work out. Despite that, you should never give up on your dreams.”

Some of May’s favorite seasons at central were the 2014 and 2015 school years. During this time, the Lady Pounders placed second in district championships, going to the full extent of their playing abilities.

“We received the Runner Up district championship in those years. We came up short winning, but that was not the most important thing; the journey getting there was,” May elaborated.

From the positive atmosphere that was created by the players to their perseverance in pursuing recognition for their hard work, there were a lot of qualities that made those years so memorable.

“The players were highly dedicated to the sport had basketball IQ,” May alluded, “They knew what they were doing, and you could tell them what they needed to do, and they’d do it.”

This year’s line up is no different. With the opening district tournament game having been completed, the Lady Pounders are hoping to advance further in the district tournaments.

“Each year the team is different, much like my classroom is,” May divulged, “You get to meet different people with different attitudes, and that makes no two years of coaching the same.”

One of May’s principal objectives as a coach is to enrich his players with lasting life lessons that can take them a long way in the future.

“I want to make sure that they know how to work well with others. If someone has difficulty following directions that are given to them, then it will only lead to more problems down the road,” accentuated May, “An uncoachable kid becomes an unemployable adult.”

In addition to that, May still stays in contact with his former players, such as Sandrea Sylman, who graduated in 2015. Sylman has continued her basketball career by playing for Freed-Hardeman University, the same college that May attended, with a major in education. He’s had several other players go on to play basketball in college or even become a coach like himself.

“You may not reach your desired goal, but you have to keep on keeping on,” May concluded.

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About the Writer
DayOnna Carson, Associate Editor
My name is DayOnna Carson, and this is my third year being a writer for the Central Digest! I love reading and making stories of my own, so I am glad I got the opportunity to be an Assistant Editor for the Digest this year. I was a winner of the Young Southern Writer’s competition...
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Rick May Celebrates His 400th Win and Assesses His Successful Coaching Career