March 29, 2014

Christian Heritage searching for new basketball coaches

Christian Heritage School will have two new head coaches for varsity basketball next season.

Both girls coach Heather Lowery and boys coach Anthony Moseley resigned following the season. Lowery had been the girls head coach for 14 seasons, while Moseley was the boys coach for the past two seasons.

Christian Heritage athletic director Preston Poag said both have been “extremely beneficial to the program.” After posting the job openings last week, Poag is interviewing applicants for each position and the next step is bringing top candidates to a panel that includes himself, Chad Jordan (assistant athletic director), Jim Adare (dean of faculty), Gerald Porter (headmaster) and principals Rheanne Burkett and Judith Fleet.

“I’d definitely like to have the jobs filled before summer,” Poag said. “I’d really like to have it by the end of April. They need to get everything planned for summer. The schedule is already set.”

Moseley stepped down from the position because of his health and Lowery because of her family.

Moseley and the Lions finished both of the past two seasons with losing records and the team did not make the Georgia High School Association’s Class A private school state playoffs. Formerly the Christian Heritage middle school boys basketball coach, Moseley had surgery in 2007 to remove pancreatic cancer — and with it, his spleen and three-quarters of his pancreas. While he felt fine during the 2012-13 season, he suffered a blood clot “in the area where my pancreas was,” Moseley said, and doctors had him take blood thinners and other medications.

“I wasn’t aware how it would affect me,” he said. “It made me tired all of the time. I didn’t have my energy.

“I was waking up still sick and my energy was gone.”

Moseley said he was “just trying to make it through the season” but struggled often, and specifically remembers a trip to play Mount Zion-Carroll when he was sick before stepping onto the bus.

“I had to leave practice several times,” he said. “A few games at our place, I stood but didn’t say much. I knew it wasn’t getting any better. ... This year has been hard.”

At the end of the season, he and Poag talked and Moseley said he “just didn’t feel good.” Moseley already knew in January that he’d probably step down.

“Coach Poag is building something special at Christian Heritage,” Moseley said. “I was honored to be a part of it when I could be. I always will be a part of it, even if not in the position of coaching.

“Coming in next year will be the best team we’ve had since entering the (GHSA). ... I know they need someone who can be there all the time and give 100 percent.”

Christian Heritage began competition in the GHSA in 2012 after spending the previous five seasons in the Georgia Independent School Association.

Lowery’s exit is due to growing motherly obligations. She adopted her only child, Carson, three years ago when he was just two days old. With Carson nearing his third birthday, Lowery knew she needed to make a difficult choice to put her son first.

“It is getting to the point where I felt the guilt of a mom for about the past year-and-a-half because I wasn’t around,” she said. “I’d get up in the morning to leave to go to work and he’d be in bed. There were some nights during basketball season when I’d get home and he’d be asleep.”

Lowery has been part of many eras for the Christian Heritage athletics programs. For her, it started 15 years ago as she coached middle school basketball and held varsity assistant duties.

After taking over as varsity head coach, her accomplishments included leading the Lady Lions to the GISA Class 2A state title game in 2007-08 and the semifinals of the same tournament in 2011-12. The Lady Lions were 241-135 in Lowery’s 14 seasons as head varsity coach, with five GISA state appearances and three GISA Region 4-2A championships.

Before Christian Heritage’s five-year GISA tenure, the school competed in the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools. Lowery and the Lady Lions won three region championships and made three state appearances in that association. At the beginning of Lowery’s tenure, Christian Heritage was part of the North Georgia Association of Christian Schools, which she said didn’t have a state tournament.

“It’s one of those things where I’ll always consider it family,” Lowery said. “I’ll still be at Christian Heritage. ... I always tried giving to them what my coaches in the past gave to me, to dig into their lives and help them in other ways besides basketball. I’m grateful for those 15 years to be able to do that. Now I have to take the same approach with my son, to instill in him the same things I tried instilling in my girls.

“I’m going to be their biggest fan in November.”

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