Jeffersontown High School Head Football Coach Mike Shatzer wants to improve the J-town football program. The school is located at 9600 Old Six Mile Lane. The JHS football team, the Chargers were positioned in District 4, Class 6A in 2018 but will drop to 5A this season.
Shatzer hired some new coaches, including two coaches who are J-town alumni. Both played football for JHS. JHS alum Coach Dee Mucker is president of the J-Town Youth Football League. In addition to his responsibilities as assistant head coach, he is also the staff defensive coordinator. JHS alum Coach Chan Nelson is a small business owner of a food truck, Back Deck BBQ. He will function as the running back coach and special teams coordinator.
Nelson remembers when J-Town ranked with the best.
“I would love to see J-Town get back to where we were in previous years – competitive, disciplined and determined,” he says. “J-Town was always known for having athletes and competing with the best. I’d like to help get them back there. I would also like to upgrade and update the football locker room as well as the football weight room.
“My alumni status motivates me to provide the kids with more than what I had when I was there,” Coach Nelson adds. “I love coaching kids and teaching about the game on the field and the game of life off the field. I don’t need to be motivated for that. But being an alum, I would love to see things upgraded and updated and give these boys something to be proud of. J-Town is my home. I have so many great memories from there. Not only from sports, but from the school itself. I don’t see kids having the same pride in J-Town that we had when I was there. Somehow and some way, I would like to restore the pride and passion and get J-Town back to where I know it could be.”
Shatzer thinks Nelson and Mucker’s alumni status will bring enthusiasm to their coaching.
“They played when they were in J-Town,” Shatzer says. “They have been a part of the program for many years. Now they want to give back to the program.
“We just want to improve everything about the program day-to-day. From our academics, our behavior, our weight-lifting routines, our program from top to bottom. We just want to get better.”
He didn’t know how much better the team needed to get noting it was too early in the spring practice to identify the team’s weak areas.
“We have quite a few juniors who will be seniors next year who have a lot of potential to be good football players,” Shatzer says. “And they’re good students and athletes. We look forward to coaching them.”
The idea of program improvement scored a touchdown with the coaches and they decided to improve the appearance of the locker room.
“All of the coaches are doing it, but Coach Nelson is the one who spearheaded the program,” Shatzer says. “He asked alumni and business leaders for financial donations to help them refurbish the locker room. He has done a great job so far.
“We just want to solicit any help the local alumni or business want to contribute to our program. We’ll gladly accept it. We’ll do things for the community they need us to do. We want to trade our support for their financial donations or some work, some sweat equity work. We’re more than willing to work.”
Shatzer is optimistic.
“We are a program on the rise,” he says. “We made big steps last year. We are hoping to keep moving forward. We can’t take a step backward. We want to take a step forward and compete at 5A and put J-Town on the map.”