The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

August 6, 2013

Hepler returns to coaching at Clever

Doug Hepler was gone a short time.

“I’m calling it a year’s sabbatical,” Hepler said with a laugh on Tuesday.

Hepler left education/coaching after 2011-12 at Mount Vernon High School. The Mount Vernon girls sent him out in style — a second Missouri Class 3 championship in his five seasons as the head coach.

Hepler decided to try something else after nearly 20 years in education (15 overall at Mount Vernon and two in Texas).

Hepler headed east. His world, in Boston, was selling furniture for Herman Miller.

He’s returned to southwest Missouri, however, and will coach high school and junior high girls basketball at Class 3 Clever in 2013-14.

“My original plan was to change jobs to get closer to family,” Hepler said. “But it wasn’t close enough. I still was six hours away from my parents (near Rochester, N.Y.).

“Herman Miller was a great opportunity,” Hepler said. “But I missed teaching and coaching. It gets in your blood.”

Now, Hepler, 39, with an undergraduate degree from Evangel and a master’s from William Woods, returns to worrying about players.

“We’re REAL young,” Hepler said. “Based on the summer, we’ll have two seniors, a junior and a sophomore. Freshmen? Thirteen signed up. But I haven’t consistently seen that many.”

Skyler Rawlins a Pirate

Rawlins, former baseball standout at Seneca High School and Missouri Southern, recently was listed in the Globe as a teacher/coach at Wyandotte High Schnol for 2013-14.

Rawlins wound up going to Locust Grove. The Pirates are Class 4A in baseball and 3A in football. Rawlins will be the head baseball coach and assist Matt Hennesy in football. Rawlins said he may work with quarterbacks and safeties in football.

Rawlins, 25, has coached at Seneca for one year and Joplin for two.

Ron Carson promoted

Carson, a basketball standout at Mount Vernon High School, has been elevated to head coach at Berryhill after assisting for two seasons.

Carson was the Berryhill head coach for two seasons (2009-11) before helping Brad Holland guide the Class 4A Chiefs to an overall record of 36-18. Holland resigned to enter private business.

Carson, who’s in the Tulsa University Athletic Hall of Fame, was all-Missouri Valley Conference as a senior guard in 1970.

He averaged more than 25 points as a senior in 1965-66. The Mountaineers, coached by his late father, L.M., reached the Class M quarterfinals.

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