Major plans for Western Line athletics

Lawrence Hudson, the newly appointed Superintendent of Western Line School District, has big plans for the district’s athletic programs.

Superintendent Hudson said he plans to graduate more student athletes, upgrade the Riverside and O’Bannon high school sporting facilities, and provide more insight to student athletes about life beyond the court or field.

Being a former athlete and coach himself, superintendent Hudson knows the importance in increasing the graduation rate amongst his student athletes.

“Increasing our student graduation rate is a process,” Hudson said. “Every single person on the staff from the custodian all the way up to myself has to play an important role. We have to encourage our students to continue to strive for greatness and to better themselves. So far, we aren’t where I want us to be ideally but we are taking big steps to get there. We are installing better study habitats and test taking skills in all students.”

Hudson said he knows it won’t be easy. Western Line School District is ranked within the bottom 50 percent of all 146 school districts in Mississippi. The school district’s graduation rate is between 80 and 84 percent, which is an increase from 75-79 percent from five school years.

For student athletes, Hudson hopes the graduation rate will rise once the district gives its athletic programs more resources.

Big changes are already underway for the O’Bannon baseball field as the district plans to add more features around the complex. Hudson has already began making improvements in other areas in O’Bannon athletics as well, like re-surfacing both of the school’s basketball courts, freshly painting the facilities, and renovating both field houses on the campus. Beyond athletics Hudson’s goal is to graduate 100 percent of all student athletes with a GPA that will allow them to further their education. Western Line is on track to have a historic sporting year.