Getting the job was just the first step in a long process for new Stephenville head baseball coach James Boxley.

Now, the work begins.

Boxley, a four-time district coach of the year at the 3A and 4A levels, spent last season at 5A Garland Lakeview Centennial. He has taken seven teams to the state playoffs in the last 10 years, with most of that damage coming at Forney, where he led his 2004 team to the 3A state final.

He has begun to settle into the Stephenville community, and as he suspected, has been welcomed with open arms.

Its been good. Ive come in and everyone here has been great to me, Boxley said. The people have made me feel like Ive been here for 10 years.

In addition to coaches meetings to prepare for two-a-days next week, Boxley is also in new teachers orientation this week.

Its getting pretty busy. Ill be helping with two-a-days and then when school starts Ill teach at the high school and report to the middle school for my junior high football responsibilities, he said. I will still help the high school football program with scouting and things like that during the season.

Boxley says he has enjoyed meeting some of the student-athletes, especially those who will be playing baseball next spring.

Ive met some of the kids along the way and Ive enjoyed that, he said. Im looking forward to having a gathering of all the players soon.

Asked what he is looking forward to most as the school year gets started, Boxley had a quick, simple answer.

I think just being around good people, he said. Im excited. Ive heard how hard the kids work how much the community gets involved. I cant wait to get around even more of the people.

And, of course, theres the drive to succeed.

Im also looking forward to the challenge of putting the program over the top, he said. Thats what Im here for.