McCants named employee of the year

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Lanett Recreation Director Trent McCants was very surprised to have been chosen as the City of Lanett’s employee of the year when it was announced recently at a city Christmas party at the James A. Hardy gymnasium. He said the choice was made by City Clerk Deborah Gilbert and Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard. McCants still isn’t completely sure why they chose him.

He said he was given credit for increasing activity in the recreation department.

Additionally, he said he was only as successful as he was thanks to the help of others.

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“They give me a lot of credit, but I want to say it’s not just me,” he said. “It’s my… I would stay my staff. We work well together as a team. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have the success that we’re having. I can promise you that.”

McCants also gave credit to the Lanett Police Department, the Lanett Fire Department and City of Lanett Public Works for working with the recreation department as a team.

McCants was reluctant to elaborate on his accomplishments, but Heard wasn’t.

“He’s been with the city since 1999 in different positions,” Heard said. “And of course, he was promoted in June of 2021 to recreation director. And he has just made such a big difference with the rec department since he’s been the director. The revenue tripled in the rec department.”

Heard said that the recreation department had a soccer program several years ago that faded out and that McCants reimplemented the sport. He said over 100 kids participated in the new soccer program.

“And we really did it to focus on the Hispanic community, but once we started the program, then we had all kids coming out, participating,” Heard said.

“Quite a few” kids signed up for the basketball program under McCants’ leadership, Heard said. Additionally, he said McCants implemented a basketball league for men and women and is working in implementing a football program.

“And the turnout was just overwhelming,” he said. “And they played on Sundays. The parking lot would be full. The gym would be full to the max.”

Heard said McCants brought back the annual back to school bash.

“He’s had a job fair, a food drive, he’s partnered with the GTS for basketball camp…” he said.

Additionally, under McCants’ leadership, improvements have been made to various recreational rooms such as locker rooms.

“He’s also had surrounding fire departments together to play basketball over there,” Heard said. “He’s revitalized the senior citizen program.”

Heard said McCants either spearheaded or actively participated in the city’s fall festival, Christmas tree lighting and employees’ gatherings.

McCants said his job is challenging, but he likes challenges. He said he has a lot of support from the community.

“The challenge I’ve faced is making sure we have something the public wants,” he said. “Times have changed. Back in our day, we knew to go sign up for basketball or softball or baseball. But today’s kids are more into video games or staying in the house all the time, so it’s hard to get them to come out. You have to find something to make them interested, so they’ll get out of the house.”

McCants said he tries to serve the entire community.