The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

August 11, 2012

O'Laughlin takes over Greenfield football

Success has been a constant companion for Aaron O’Laughlin during a brief coaching career.

O’Laughlin naturally hopes it continues in his first season as head coach at Greenfield High School.

O’Laughlin, an assistant (receivers/defensive backs) the past three years at Huntsville Westran under Curtis Jasper, said Saturday he’s satisfied with the Class 1 Wildcats’ progress after a week of two-a-day practices.

“Things are going well,” O’Laughlin, who just turned 24, said. “The players are handling new installments pretty quickly. It’s been an easy transition from last season (and coach Tom Ellis). There’s a lot of the same philosophy.”

Ellis, who was at Greenfield for two seasons, is still looking for a teaching/coaching position.

Westran reached the playoffs each season during O’Laughlin’s stint and one edition finished second to Valle Catholic.

O’Laughlin graduated from Shelbina South Shelby in 2007 and in his senior year (2006), playing for his dad Kent, the Cardinals defeated Marionville 34-27 in overtime for the Class 1 title.

“Greenfield sort of reminds me of Shelbina,” Aaron O’Laughlin said. “They’re small towns. I like it.”

Aaron O’Laughlin, a running back/free safety at South Shelby, attended Central Methodist of Fayette (Mo.) and played two seasons of football for the Eagles. Kent, also a South Shelby product, attended Culver-Stockton of Canton, Mo.

“It was fun playing for him,” Aaron said of dad. “We still talk at least once a week Some weeks, we’ll talk two or three times.”

The elder O’Laughlin, who coached some 16 years at South Shelby, is in his second season at Marceline after stints at Mexico (one year) and Palmyra (three).

Dad, this season, will assist in football and serve as the head coach in both boys and girls basketball. Plus, he will be the athletic director.

Greenfield’s football tradition includes a championship and a second place. Ellis’ two teams lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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