Heffern navigates pandemic, uncertainty in first year as Fort Scott head coach

Clint Heffern enters first year as head boys basketball coach at Fort Scott High School
Clilnt Heffern takes over Fort Scott boys basketball program.

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Clint Heffern knew he wanted to be a coach and have a program of his own. Heffern enters his first year as head coach at Fort Scott High School. As a former Iola Mustang, he was familiar with the Fort Scott Tigers and his predecessor, Jeff Delatorre.

“Back then that’s when Iola was in the SEK league and so…it was pretty cool,” says Heffern. “Got to play against Coach Del and Coach Young when they were coaching here and still had a relationship with Coach Del. Talked to him and interviewed. When I found out I got the job it was pretty cool and pretty cool to look back and have some of those special memories.”

There are challenges that coaches face every year, and Heffern is not alone adapting because of the pandemic.

“I am just trying to roll with the punches and control with what we can control and stay positive and keep the kids focused on getting better everyday,” says Heffern.

The players have responded well to the where Heffern is taking the program.

“He’s got a nice younger style. All the kids can really relate to him and I think everybody likes the energy he brings to practice,” says senior Treyton Brown.

“He fits in with our younger players and just how we like to play, you know, fast pace…run the ball and play our offense and just play basketball,” adds senior Gavin Pytlowany.

Heffern says it’s still surreal he’s calling all the shots.

“This is my program and leading it in the direction I want, but it’s been really good and really exciting and especially with all the uncertainty just being able to be out here and do something,” adds Heffern.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on a proposal to push the start date of winter sports competition to January 15.