For newly-hired East Jefferson Athletic Director Shelby Box, excelling “on the court and the field, as well as academics and in life,” is part of her vision for the Rivals athletic …
For newly-hired East Jefferson Athletic Director Shelby Box, excelling “on the court and the field, as well as academics and in life,” is part of her vision for the Rivals athletic program.
After a rigorous hiring process with Box meeting with a committee of parents, administrators, students, coaches, and others to discuss her plan and approach to the athletics program, the Port Townsend School District announced the new hire April 20.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity; I’ve been working with high school kids in athletics for most of my career,” Box said in an interview with The Leader.
“My goal with the program is to not only produce better athletics and better students, but to overall produce better humans. I really want to focus on that; we’re not just here to be better athletes,” Box said.
Previously serving as the head coach for Chimacum Junior High’s basketball teams, Box brings a wealth of sports experience to the table, along with top-notch credentials.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Science in Kinesiology and Athletic Training from the University of Northwestern, and recently completed her master’s degree in Applied Sports Psychology from Adams State University in Colorado.
Box also has nearly 20 years of experience as a coach, athletic trainer, and mental performance coach.
Beyond looking out for student athletes off the field, she wants to bring a winning culture to the Rivals.
She said she wants to “get these kids working together from two different schools and see if we can build a championship culture, and get these student athletes performing on the field.”
“I love being around sports,” Box added.
The athletic director position was previously held between Philip Mackey-Moseley of Port Townsend High and Carrie Beebe of Chimacum High as a shared position. Pitfalls such as scheduling, finding people to carpool, time constraints, and other challenges led administrators to seek a single person to fulfill the position under one umbrella.
Beebe has since switched to a full-time teaching role at Chimacum High School, while Mackey-Moseley pivoted to stay as Port Townsend High’s dean of students.
The new AD will inherit a program that has found some success so far, with the Rivals cross country team winning the district championship, a playoff run from EJ’s football team, amid other successes.
But the real challenge will be handling the unique issues that stem from a relatively new athletic program consisting of two schools that are 10 miles apart.
Fortunately, Box has experience there, too.
“I do have a little bit of experience with a co-op [athletic program] because of where I was in Montana with smaller schools as an athletic trainer. Some of the schools had to co-op to survive, and to have an athletic program, they had to come together and work together,” Box said. “I was with them since the beginning of the co-op.”
While working as an athletic trainer, Box was part of an athletics merger between central Montana’s Geraldine and Highwood high schools.
Similar to the East Jefferson Rivals, both Montana schools were struggling to field enough athletes to participate in high school sports, and they chose to combine in order to remain alive.
The former opponents-turned-friends struggled for a bit in the inaugural season, but worked past their differences under one banner.
“Watching those kids come together, a year before playing each other, the first year — there was some tension,” Box said. “It’s just a matter of getting the kids to take ownership of the new team.”
Under the “one team, one dream” motto, Highwood and Geraldine high schools worked past the initial challenges and found success as a cooperative athletic program.
Box believes that model can be translated to the East Jefferson Rivals to pave the way for success, academic achievement, and a stronger bond between Chimacum and Port Townsend high schools, on and off the field.
“I look forward to helping our Rival student athletes perform their best both in their sporting as well as academic endeavors,” Box said. “I will take a community approach to uniting these schools as one team with one dream. Go Rivals!”
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