Starkville Academy softball coach Randy Haynes expects to have a stronger team on the field this season. There were signs in the summer league at the Starkville Sportsplex that the Lady Volunteers could be better than last year’s 18-17 record.
MACON — One title isn’t enough for the Central Academy softball program. In May, the Lady Vikings ended a drought when they defeated Kemper Academy to win the Class A Mississippi Private School Association slow-pitch state title.
When the South Lamar football team released its schedule for the upcoming season, the only significance of its game against Marion County was it was a matchup of region rivals. But in June, the encounter between South Lamar and Marion County took on a much more significant meaning. That’s because Marion County, which is located in Guin, Ala., hired Rusty Funk to be its head football coach. Funk was South Lamar’s coach last season before being relieved of his duties and replaced by his assistant, Josh Harper.
Jerry Byrd doesn’t know if he, his wife, or his children are happier. Getting an opportunity to stay home to teach and to coach usually can put a smile on anybody’s face. The Byrds will smile a lot more this year after the Lowndes County School Board approved Friday the hiring of Byrd as the new boys soccer and tennis coach at New Hope High School.
Justin Putnam realized a dream Monday. Today, the Lowndes County School Board is expected to make it official. Putnam accepted an offer Monday to become the new girls track and field coach at New Hope High School. Jerry Byrd, the older brother of former New Hope High boys basketball coach Robert Byrd, said Thursday he has accepted the job to become the school’s new boys soccer coach.
Josh Ferguson was pleased when he first learned he was selected to participate in the annual Bernard Blackwell Classic. The football game, which will be at 7 tonight at Hale-Robinson Stadium on the campus of Mississippi College, pits some of the state’s top outgoing seniors from the South against the North. It is a final opportunity for high school standouts to take the field before they play their first games in college.
The timing proved to be perfect for Rusty Greene. The veteran teacher and coach transitioned eight years ago into a role as an assistant principal at Caledonia Middle School. But Greene recently decided he wanted to try something new, so he searched the area for another job as an administrator.
Lee Boyd is ready to accept the challenge of being the next baseball coach at New Hope High School. As a player, Boyd spent five years in a New Hope High program that has earned a reputation as one of the state’s best. As a coach, Boyd has spent the past three years in the dugout against New Hope High, and has watched the Trojans maintain that tradition. Now as New Hope High School’s new baseball coach, Boyd, 26, is confident he can be the leader who keep that tradition going for many more years.
Drew McBrayer admits he dreamed of one day becoming the boys basketball coach at New Hope High School. He never imagined that day would come so soon. The Lowndes County School Board on Friday approved the hiring of McBrayer as New Hope High’s boys basketball coach. McBrayer, 30, replaces Robert Byrd, who announced his resignation Tuesday after 11 years as the school’s head coach.
Former New Hope High School baseball player Lee Boyd is expected to be named the school’s new baseball coach. Boyd, who spent five years as a player in the New Hope High baseball program, said Wednesday he had accepted a job offer to be the Trojans’ new coach. He declined to comment further pending the approval Friday of his hiring by the Lowndes County School Board.
Robert Byrd is looking ahead. After years working to raise the children of other people and toiling as a basketball coach, Byrd said Wednesday it is time for a change. Byrd on Tuesday resigned as boys basketball coach at New Hope High School, citing a desire to spend more time with his family and to focus on the pursuit of a master’s degree.
The timing proved to be perfect for Laura Lee Holman. As a result, the former New Hope High School softball and girls basketball standout likely will return to her alma mater as a coach. Holman last week accepted a job offer to replace Tim Vaughan as New Hope High’s girls basketball coach. Holman’s hiring is expected to be finalized Friday when the Lowndes County School Board convenes its monthly meeting.
Rachel Hollivay isn’t letting a little disappointment slow her down. In fact, the New Hope High School sophomore girls basketball player is using her experiences this summer to take her game to new heights. In May, Hollivay was one of 34 players invited to travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., to attend the team trials for the 2009 USA Basketball Women’s Under-16 National Team.
Mandy Fondren believes there is no place better to learn than close to home. Fondren’s decision to accept a job offer to become East Webster High School’s new girls basketball coach is even more appealing because she grew up in Sherwood, a small community in Choctaw County, and she will have an opportunity to join a school with a tradition-rich athletic department.
Another day didn’t change things enough for Clint Wilkerson and his family. The St. Aloysius High School baseball coach Monday morning declined a job offer to be the new head baseball coach at New Hope High School. Administrators from New Hope High then spoke with Wilkerson later that day and asked him to give them more time to try to work out a better situation for him and his family.
Former New Hope High School baseball coach Stacy Hester said Monday he won’t appeal the decision of Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford not to retain him as the school’s baseball coach.
The heat index is a number on the mind of more and more high school football coaches. With temperatures and heat indices in the state reaching into the upper 90s and 100s, respectively, in the past two weeks, football coaches around the state are trying to identify the best times and ways to get their players in condition for the start of the season. When state schools and football teams reconvene Aug. 3 for the 2009-10 school year, coaches might have another item to consider.
Each pass brings teams closer to the start of the 2009 high school football season. That’s why more and more teams are trying to get as many repetitions as they can in the next two months before school reconvenes in August. Columbus High School football coach Bubba Davis is going to do his best to make sure his team and others in the area are busy. Davis and the Falcons played host Tuesday to the first of what he hopes are several evenings of 7-on-7 passing competition.
The school colors have been worn for the final time. But New Hope High School graduates Victoria Culpepper, Kristen Harvey, and DeShuni Sanders wouldn’t have closed their careers any other way. The former Lady Trojans closed their high school careers last weekend with a host of other local players at the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star games at Newton County High School in Decatur.
Stacy Hester said Thursday he plans to appeal the recommendation of Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford and the vote of the county’s school board that he not be retained as New Hope High School baseball coach. “I want them to man up and tell me why,” Hester said. “It is just amazing (this has happened after) all of the things I have done and have been a part of out in that program. (It is a shame that after) one little incident all of this stuff kind of blows up and you’re gone. I think they are hiding the fact that I had an at-will contract and they don’t have to tell me a thing.”
2. Bulldogs, Tigers begin new rivalry at SEC tournament COLLEGE SPORTS
3. Ole Miss, Alabama ready for tournament openers COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Transfer Bench narrows choices to MSU, USF COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Pieces come together to push New Hope to title series HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS