When classes begin next month at Legacy, at least two of its girls programs will be under new management. Basketball players and softball players will get formal introductions to their new head coaches.
The basketball program is now under the direction of Michelle Morris, who moved up from the same position at Katy Cinco Ranch. Morris replaces Amy Tennison, who has moved on to Midlothian. Like Tennison, Morris will also serve as the girls athletic coordinator.
“It’s a phenomenal school district with a great athletics program,” Morris said. “To me, this is a premier job as a basketball coach and I’m very honored to get the opportunity.”
Morris wasn’t exactly looking for a change when the Legacy gig came vacant. She had recently built a home in Katy and expected to stay until her daughter graduated. But the lure of Mansfield as a community and school district was too strong.
“Being a basketball coach, it’s a small world,” she said. “You know the good programs and so forth. I knew of the Mansfield schools. They’ve got great programs. I’m excited to be a part of a great district to continue with the success of the athletic department.”
It also helped that Morris is originally from East Texas and that some of her family lives in the Dallas area.
Morris arrived in town early this summer, and has been afforded some opportunity to get familiar with some of her new players. Between open gym, attending some AAU games and the Broncos’ summer camp, she’s got a preview of her charges.
“I’m trying to develop a relationship before school starts and I’ve done that for the most part with the majority of the girls,” she commented. “I’m very excited. These girls are great kids and not only great kids but they work hard. What I’ve seen of their eagerness, I’m very excited to be a part of that.”
Something Morris also had to accomplish this summer was the hiring of a new Broncos softball coach after Michelle Mayfield decided to retire. Mayfield had been the only softball coach in Legacy’s seven-year history. Morris, along with help from boys athletic coordinator Chris Melson, decided on Amie Prater, who will be making the short move over from Kennedale.
Prater is a local product, having graduated from Kennedale before returning there to coach, but despite having that connection and a fair amount of success at her alma mater, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the reins at Legacy.
“With the changes in my family and having a son, the time constraints are a little different at a smaller school than at a bigger school. It was just appealing,” Prater said. “All the ducks were in a row when the opportunity came my way.”
Prater had a baby earlier this year and actually missed several weeks of the softball season. Her Wildcats team finished the season undefeated in District 6-3A and advanced to the area round of the playoffs. After being a dominant force in 3A, Prater is excited about the challenge of stepping up in the level of regular competition.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenges of moving up to a bigger school and playing in a bigger district,” she said. “Legacy has so much to offer, there were so many appealing things.”
Prater inherits a fairly young team, which suits her fine since it will allow her to have many of the players for more than just one season. One of those players is junior Karlie Miburn, who doesn’t know Prater, but is aware of her success at Kennedale.
“It’s probably going to be difficult at first, just because everything will be completely different,” she said. “But we’ll stay positive about it. I would say the excitement level about next season kind of went up a little bit because it’s a new coach. We have heard that she had a lot of success at Kennedale and we’re pretty excited about that.”