Atkinson adjusting to new fall role at TRM as cross country coach

Published 7:53 am Monday, August 27, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Rob Atkinson's athletes are used to doing a lot of running in the fall, but nothing compared to the amount they are now.
After eight seasons on the sidelines as Brewton Middle School Tigers football coach, Atkinson has shifted gears and moved into the head coach for the T.R. Miller High School cross country program.
Atkinson takes over for longtime T.R. Miller coach Alan Ash, who stepped down from both his cross country and track positions after 24 seasons with those programs.
T.R. Miller's program has struggled to come up with the necessary five runners it takes to compete as a team in recent seasons with both its boys and girls. That should end this fall with the boys, as there are currently six members. The girls currently have three runners, two short of being able to compete as a team.
Senior Corey Cunningham and junior Geoff Youngblood are currently pacing the boys field.
Senior Tyler Parker is in his fourth year of running. He is joined by senior Jeff Gill, sophomore Brandon Nelson and freshman Taylor Terry.
Senior Crystal Higdon leads T.R. Miller on the girls side. Higdon is coming off a 10th place finish at last year's Class 3A-4A state meet.
Eighth grader Amber Nelson and seventh grader Shelby Youngblood round out the current girls list.
Both boys and girls run 3.2-mile courses.
T.R. Miller is currently set to open its season Sept. 1 at the Foley Invitational.