🏈By Kennedy Rosendahl
This year, Ponte Vedra High School welcomes a new Athletic Director, Michael Harrison. Mr. Michael Harrison comes from six years of AD experience at Orange Park High School in Clay County. Mr. Harrison was also formally a softball, baseball, cross country, and basketball coach, but his main sport was basketball. He is planning on bringing his knowledge and new ideas to PVHS.
One of the changes that Mr. Harrison would like to make is how PVHS athletics helps promote student athletes. He wants student athletes to be known at PVHS stating, “I will try to make sure student athletes have great experiences (at PVHS) on and off the field.” One of the ways he is doing this by creating a new Instagram account for athletics, and he plans on posting “Student Athlete of the Week” and “Scholar Athlete of the Month” updates. Nominations for these awards will be made by coaches, but Mr. Harrison and his staff will determine who will get the final award.
Mr. Harrison would also like the facilities at PVHS to be the best available to create a winning atmosphere. “I want to make sure we leave it better than we found it,” said Mr. Harrison. He and his crew have already refurbished the sound system at the football field. He wants to continue renovating the facilities at PVHS, some examples being the gym sound system, the scoreboards, and the ticket booth. His goal is to “spruce everything up.”
Character development is just as important as skill development in athletes for Mr. Harrison. He said that PVHS coaches should repeatedly work on character development, and it is important for these coaches to “reinforce what you [coaches] set forth.” Mr. Harrison noted, “The most important aspect of a student athlete is character. Here you represent yourself, your family, your coaches, and our school.” This leads to his short-term goal: for PVHS to be the recipient of the Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award, which is given to schools that have promoted sportsmanship both on and off the field, and whose athletic teams demonstrated good sportsmanship during the 2021-2022 regular season. He wants PVHS to produce “high quality student athletes.”
“The most important aspect of a student athlete is character. Here you represent yourself, your family, your coaches, and our school.”
Most of all, Mr. Harrison wants PVHS athletics to be the best athletics department there is. His long-term goal for the program was simply “to be the best there is.” Mr. Harrison mentioned how impressive PVHS’s numbers already are, with 121 district titles, 67 regional titles, 18 state championships, and 10 individual state champions in the overall history of the school. He wants to use these numbers to continue improving the program he has inherited. Mr. Harrison stated, “We are going to follow all guidelines, and keep raising the bar.” He has instated a positive environment already at PVHS and will continue to work to improve the athletic department as the year goes on.