By Garth Shanklin
Coming off a 2-8 football campaign marred by injuries up and down the depth chart, Milford High School has decided to make a head coaching change.
Shane Elkin, who was named the school’s head coach in 2010, is out as school’s varsity coach. Shane Bartholomew, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator in 2016, has been named the interim head coach.
Elkin and the Eagles won two games this season, defeating an eight-win Norwood team 52-48 and Walnut Hills 29-15.
Elkin said he knew the team needed to take even more steps forward this season after finishing the 2015 campaign with a 4-6 record.
“As a head coach, you know that they want to win,” Elkin said. “I knew going into the season that I had been there a long time and we needed to have a good season. Going in, everyone thought that we were going to be an 8-2 football team, but we just had one of those years. There were a lot of injuries. It’s a shame for the kids, our guys prepared really well for the season and the guys that stepped up and played when we had the injuries did a great job.”
Injuries plagued the team all season long, specifically at the quarterback position. Blake King entered the season as the team’s starter, only to miss time due to a broken foot discovered in the midst of a weather delay during the team’s season-opening game against Hamilton.
King was one of five Milford players to attempt a pass this season, with Chase Witte and Tyler Smith manning the position for most of the season.
Witte led the Eastern Cincinnati Conference in rushing, tallying 1,099 yards and 11 touchdowns on 167 carries. He also threw for the most yards (282) and touchdowns (5) for Milford this season. Teammate Dawson Slone led the team with 191 carries for 822 yards.
Milford High School thanked Elkin for his efforts in an emailed statement.
“We would like to thank Coach Shane Elkin for all his hard work and dedication over the years. His effort and valuable investment in the program is appreciated and we wish him well. We are committed to finding the best possible subsequent head coach to lead our teams/athletes to success, both on and off the football field. We have a lot of positive investment in our football program here at Milford. The district will get feedback from multiple sources in the coming weeks and there will be both an administrative review committee as well as an input committee with parent/community representation to help in the decision.”
Elkin said he plans on continuing to coach, though he is not entirely sure where yet.
“I’m still going to coach,” Elkin said. “Where that is and what that means has yet to formulate. I’ve already had a few schools, guys that I’ve gotten to know through the coaching ranks or guys that I’ve worked with expressed interest.”
For now, Elkin said he’s staying busy helping the senior Eagles find their college home
“I’m just trying to help my seniors with their recruiting,” Elkin said. “That’s my focus right now, putting together all the recruiting information and sending it to colleges.”
Elkin added that he believed the team made strides forward during the five years he spent at the helm, specifically thanking his players for the work they put in.
“You never want to walk away from something before you finish it the right way,” Elkin said. “I think we did some really good things as a program, we made major strides. I really like the position that we put the next guy in. Whoever comes in has a lot of things in place that weren’t happening there when I took over. To me, that’s the hardest part about it. Those guys worked their tails off for me. The next guy coming in has a great group of kids to work with.”