By Nathan DeenJuly 10, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 10, 2013) -- Changes are on the way this upcoming school year for the Faith Middle School athletic program.
Media specialist Cindy Givens will be stepping down from her role as the school's athletic director and boys basketball coach Will Davis will assume those responsibilities, Givens confirmed June 24.
Givens, who has been the athletic director for nine years, said she has been working her way toward retirement and thought it was time to get a new person established in the position. She will remain with the school as a media specialist and serve as an advisor to Davis.
"It's tough to give up that control of something you have built from its infancy," she said. "But at the same time, I understand it's time to leave it to the next generation."
The next generation is young -- Davis is 28 years old, but brings three years of Muscogee County coaching experience to the athletic program. The goal of Givens' tenure for the last couple of years, she said, has been getting student athletes accustomed to competing with Muscogee County schools and to prepare them better for high school athletics.
"That's exactly what the program needs -- someone young and vivacious," Givens said.
"I think he will focus more on conditioning … which is something I think we have lacked in the past."
Davis said Givens approached him with the offer about three weeks before the spring school semester ended, and he accepted on the last day of school.
"It was a task I thought I could take on," Davis said. "I enjoy working with the kids at Faith and I want them to have a good athletic experience.
"I'm going to do the best I can to keep what we have strong."
Davis was hired by the school in August as a physical education teacher and just finished his first year as the boys' basketball coach. The Warriors went 4-9 this year after back-to-back seasons of having just one win.
Davis said he had big shoes to fill and Givens did an excellent job providing for her coaches.
"As a coach, anytime I needed something, she was there to take care of it," he said.
Givens said her experience in starting the job was one like a fish out of water and she wasn't sure what she was getting herself into.
It was a hard learning experience, she said, but as things turned out, she helped pioneer the expansion of the athletic program to play against Muscogee County schools.
"I'm very proud to turn over a program that has gone from two sports to an all-encompassing program that we're fairly competitive in," she said.
FAITH TO DISCONTINUE FOOTBALL AGAINST MUSCOGEE SCHOOLS
Davis takes over as athletic director during a continuing time of change for the school.
Givens also confirmed June 24 that after a two-year experiment, Faith will not continue to play football against Muscogee County teams in 2013.
Georgia and Alabama school district superintendent Christy Cabezas said policy for the Department of Defense Education Activity prohibits its middle schools from playing tackle football.
In response to an email, the school's administration also said it determined "that in sports like tackle football, our students were at a disadvantage." The Warriors went 0-6 in both seasons and lost every game by double digits.
"I'm not considering not having football as a failure," Givens said.
"It's hard for us to compete in a civilian world. We're just not able to prepare our children to play at that level at Faith.
"I know what football brings to a school. It brings school spirit. But I think if they get involved in our other sports, we can maintain that."
Though football is gone, Davis said he will focus on making the sports the school does have as successful as possible.
"It'll take some time to make sure everything is working properly," Davis said.
"Our athletic staff will work together to make it a successful year."