Mt. Hermon names 2 coaches over 3 sports

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Mt. Hermon has two new coaches over three sports.
Lester Jenkins is now the school’s boys basketball and softball coach, while Matthew Lea is taking over the girls basketball program.
“Lester and I have been friends for a long time and I’m very excited to have him on board,” Mt. Hermon principal Dawn Seal said. “I feel like he’s come back home, with him being back in the Washington Parish School System.”
Jenkins heads to Mt. Hermon after spending the last year and a half at Bogalusa. While at Bogalusa, Jenkins was the head softball coach last season and an assistant basketball coach for two years and an assistant football coach for one season.
“(Mt. Hermon is) known for basketball,” Jenkins said. “That’s kind of the big thing there. It’s one of those deals that’s spread into the kids to play basketball. I know we have a young team, but the kids are working hard and they’re just eating up everything I’m telling them. I’ve been impressed with their work habits.”
Jenkins said he just got the softball job, so he is still learning about the team.
“I do know some are playing travel ball,” Jenkins said. “I know they’ve got experience. I’m looking forward to both teams.”
Jenkins, who is a 1979 Franklinton High School graduate, has been coaching since the 1988-89 school year and nearly every year since. Jenkins has also coached track/field and weightlifting over the span of his career.
Lea has been coaching on the high school or junior high level for the past two years.
He was Franklinton Junior High School’s head boys basketball coach two years ago and was the assistant boys basketball coach at Mt. Hermon last season.
Lea is the nephew of longtime Mt. Hermon boys basketball coach B. Alford, who retired after the 2017-18 season. Alford had been the Mt. Hermon head coach for 37 years.
Lea has been going to Mt. Hermon games pretty much his entire life.
“Matthew is extremely dedicated to Mt. Hermon School and he fits in well,” Seal said.
Lea, who attended Mt. Hermon his freshman year and Parklane the next two years before graduating from Jewel Sumner in 2005, was a shooting guard/small forward in high school.
“I’ve always wanted to coach at Mt. Hermon,” Lea said. “It’s my dream getting to work with kids and basketball at Mt. Hermon. I’m from this area and I’m looking forward to working with the girls this year. I’m going to try to build on what Mrs. Mary (McGinnis) started last year.”