The Booneville School Board last Tuesday hired new coaches to take over the boys’ and girls’ basketball programs.

Ronnie Denton was named as the new Bearcat head coach. He comes from Hartford where he has coached the Hustlers since 2006, leading them to a pair of regional bids in his time there.

Denton replaces Tim Goers, who took the head coaching job at Vilonia after taking Booneville’s boys to their first state tournament.

The new coach of the Lady Cats is Jason Wallace. He has a state championship to his credit when he led Sacred Heart to the Class A title in 2006-07. In that season, the Lady Rebels finished 33-7. More recently he was an assistant coach and junior high coach at North Little Rock. During his time there his team won a Central Arkansas junior high league tournament with a win over Greenbrier. He was in private business before deciding to get back into coaching.

Wallace takes the job held by Jay Loyd last season. Loyd resigned to take a counseling position at Fort Smith Northside.

Incoming sophomore Kaitlynn Davis was upbeat about the appointment of Wallace. "Can’t wait!" she said in a Facebook post last week.

The players will get a taste of what is in store for them when practice resumes July 1, after the Arkansas Athletic Association’s mandated two-week "dead period". No practice can be held, nor can any school athletic facility be opened during that time.

With the Bearcats trying to build on their newfound success and the Lady Cats having a promising group of sophomores to go with several returnees, the new coaches have a lot to work with. Time will tell if their efforts are able to bring out the best in the players.