Latexo ISD Athletic Director Greg Horn gets ready for a new year

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

LATEXO –  Coaching a couple dozen teenage girls must be one of the hardest jobs in Houston County. Keeping the girls organized, motivated, rotating players, watching for subtle mistakes in position or strategy – all while handling the usual complaints.

“We had to run a mile first thing morning,” several of the girls wanted noted in the newspaper. The first few days back to practice are never easy.

Latexo Athletic Director and Volleyball Head Coach Greg Horn takes it all in stride as he guides the Lady Tigers into another season. 

Horn is going into his third year in charge of Latexo athletics, coaching in several districts around East Texas. Most recently Horn coached in the Austin area before coming to Latexo. He  enjoys the benefits of living and working in Houston County.

“I hate big cities and big schools,” Horn said. “So living here, a mile and a half from the school is great. It’s just more of a family. I have been accepted by these girls. This community has accepted me as part of the family so it has just been great.”

Horn is building strong teams and a strong staff, but still acknowledges he could not perform his job without the support of the children’s families, booster club and the community. Horn understands in smaller schools sometimes he must “share” his best players as they take part in many other school activities.

“We have done a very good job getting the girls involved in math, academics, FFA, sports, cheerleading and doing multiple things,” Horn explained. “The coaches that we have here now all believe in the same thing: let them do as much as they can while they’re in high school. We have really come together as a group of teachers and coaches to make sure they get all the experiences they can.”

As regards Latexo Lady Tigers volleyball, Horn believes his training of the teams beginning in Junior High has led to a more prepared team even at the freshman level.

“I think we are going to be the best we have been in a long, long time,” Coach Horn said. “There’s real excitement of the girls, coaches, administration – and in the community. We have freshmen now who will be starting on the varsity team. We have had this in previous years, but it was more difficult because they hadn’t played that much and didn’t know our system.”

Latexo ISD girls volleyball getting ready for the new season

“It’s hugely important for us to run the same offense, do the same drills for all of our teams,” Horn continued. “So this year we have started our two-a-days and we are so far ahead of where we were last year. I say, ‘Run this drill,’ and they line up and go. I can have 20 drills scheduled for the day and get through all of them.”

Asked if the rumors were true the girls had to run a whole mile first thing in the morning, Coach Horn laughed, “Oh yeah, horrible!”

With Horn at the helm it looks like the Lady Tigers have a lot more tough practicing and tougher playing to do this coming year.

The first match for the Lady Tigers will be Friday, Aug. 5 at Lovelady.

Greg Ritchie can be reached at greg@messenger-news.com

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