STARKVILLE –– Starkville Academy’s Lyndsey Haynes mixed her pitches to mix up the Central Academy Lady Vikings at the plate. Haynes scattered four hits Tuesday afternoon to lead Starkville Academy to a 9-1 victory at home. “I didn’t throw one pitch in the same place the whole time,” said Haynes, who allowed three bunt singles. “If I threw outside and she’d foul it off, I’d go inside and high. Every pitch changed completely. It messed them up. The game (against Kemper Academy on Monday) I threw too much in the same place and I messed up and they would hit it.”
There’s something to be said for sure-handedness. For Heritage Academy’s Kristyn Atkins, all it took Tuesday was a rosin bag to help her feel more comfortable. The senior pitcher used rosin to keep her right hand dry en route to a complete-game three-hitter in an 8-1 victory against Hebron Christian. Atkins (1-1) struck out four, walked one, and never was in any serious trouble.
STARKVILLE —Randy Haynes likes robust boxscores. The Starkville Academy fast-pitch softball coach would prefer to have his players swing away and pile up the doubles, triples, or home runs. Sometimes, though, you need to switch gears.
Brad Butler knows the Heritage Academy football program can accomplish big things. He was a member of the football team’s coaching staff in 2005 when it advanced to the Class AAA Division II title game. Now it’s Butler’s job to help the Patriots get back to that level.
STARKVILLE — Starkville Academy believes it’s getting just the boost its athletic program needs to be competitive. A $300,000 on-campus locker room and training facility is under construction and is excepted to provide something that is considered to be overdue.
The 2008 season was just the first step for the Heritage Academy fast-pitch softball season. The Lady Patriots made history last season, advancing to the North South State Tournament for the first time. With many of the key players from that team back this season, Heritage Academy coach Ginny Lowery is confident Heritage Academy can build on last season and begin to build a tradition.
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.
1. Bulldogs capitalizing on Jones' experience COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Caledonia gives Kelly win in opener HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Noxubee County looks for new beginning after loss HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Starkville shows myriad weapons in victory HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Waldner sets example Anagnost wants for MSU COLLEGE SPORTS