Stacy Hester is still confused, and now he apparently is out of a job he loves. On Friday, Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford recommended Hester not be retained as New Hope High School’s baseball coach. None of the five school board members asked to have the issue of Hester’s status pulled from the consent agenda, where it could have been up for an open vote. The board then voted 5-0 to accept Halford’s recommendation.
The blank Web page might be an omen for the New Hope High School baseball program. At 3 p.m. Saturday, the www.newhopebaseball.com page on the New Hope High sports and school booster site carried a message “Nothing to See Here Move Along.” The absence of any information on the baseball program’s page comes after Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford recommended Friday that New Hope High baseball coach Stacy Hester not be retained after his at-will agreement ends June 30.
David Boykin is back at Caledonia High School to see if he can complete some unfinished business. The Lowndes County School Board approved Boykin’s hiring Friday as the football coach at Caledonia High School. Boykin, who coached Caledonia to 3-7 records in 2006 and 2007, replaced Jason Forrester, who resigned his position last month. Boykin served as a volunteer offensive line coach last season under Mark Hudspeth at the University of North Alabama.
MACON — M.C. Miller’s cupboard at Noxubee County High School has plenty left in stock. The veteran football coach will have to find a way to replace 12 starters (five on offense, seven on defense) from last season’s Class 4A state championship team. And while the losses of All-State wide receiver Patrick Patterson, wide receiver Teddy Young, and quarterback Termarcus Conner will be some of the toughest to fill, don’t think for a minute that the Tigers won’t throw the ball a lot in 2009.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy golfer Korakot Simsiriwong has returned to her native Thailand for rest and relaxation before schools starts again in August. She took her golf clubs with her. Simsiriwong wants to keep her game sharp so she can have more success on the course when she returns to the United States. “My dad (Pramoth) got me started playing golf and I love it,” Simsiriwong said. “I definitely want to keep playing.”
Heritage Academy has a new face that lights up the night. The private, independent school in Columbus is putting the finishing touches on a $250,000 construction project that has added more than 3,000 square feet to the school’s gymnasium.
Javier Esquivel and A.J. Foster want to build something. As veteran soccer players and coaches, Esquivel and Foster understand boys and girls can’t become world-class players with the snap of two fingers. But the new Columbus High School boys soccer coaches want players, parents, and fans to know they plan to put a process in place that will help the Falcons learn how to play the game and to develop into better players.
The East Webster High School softball program didn’t have to look far to find a replacement for coach Bill Brand. Former East Webster High fast-pitch softball coach Dallas Ferguson and assistant football and fast-pitch softball coach Ken Williamson were recently named to replace Brand as the school’s slow-pitch and fast-pitch coaches.
The Southern Mississippi football program already has made an impression on Rickey Knox. Wednesday afternoon was an opportunity for Knox and more than 70 other football players from the region to get to know the Golden Eagles’ coaches and program even better. Coach Larry Fedora and members of his coaching staff worked out players from Lowndes County, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee for more than two hours Wednesday at Columbus High School.
Tyler Aldridge is on the road back to 100 percent. Even though arm problems prevented the Caledonia High School baseball standout from having an ideal senior season, Aldridge still was recognized as one of the area’s top players. On Saturday, Aldridge will take the field one more time as a high schooler when he and six other area players participate in the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s Crossroads Diamond Club All-Star games at Trustmark Park in Pearl.
DeShuni Sanders is old school. But the New Hope High School senior standout showed this season that even old schoolers can succeed in a faster environment. Sanders and Hamilton High senior standout Kelle West added honors to their resumes earlier this week when they were chosen second-team All-State by The Clarion Ledger in Jackson. Sanders didn’t learn of the honor until Wednesday when her father, Donnie, told her.
Chris Herring and Kenny Tice never imagined they would have to be spokespeople. But the former New Hope High School baseball player and NHHS parent believe it is time to speak out. After remaining quiet throughout the season and watching momentum build against New Hope High baseball coach Stacy Hester, Herring and Tice said Saturday they believe people in the community are on a “personal vendetta” and “crusade” to remove Hester as the school’s coach.
Billy Ray Lee knows there is a fine line in coaching. In more than 30 years as a coach, Lee has learned some players respond to one style of coaching while others need to be motivated another way. Lee has seen that dynamic play out in his two years with the New Hope High School baseball program. In that time, Lee has seen New Hope High coach Stacy Hester is a lot like him.
New Hope High School will have a new girls basketball coach for the 2009-10 school year. Tim Vaughan resigned for personal reasons Tuesday as coach at his alma mater to be an assistant girls basketball coach for Yvonne Hairston at Columbus High School. Vaughan, who led the Lady Trojans to a 31-18 record the past two seasons, said Saturday he hasn’t signed a contract to make the move official, but that he expects to be a full-time social studies teacher in the fall at Columbus High.
The West Point High School football team lost one of its offensive lineman of the future Thursday when Tyler Wallace passed away in his sleep. An autopsy report has yet to reveal the cause of death of the 15-year old Wallace, who would have been a sophomore on West Point’s football team this fall. “Everybody is doing as well as can be expected,” said West Point coach Chris Chambless. “We were shocked. The response from the community as far as helping and praying has been greatly appreciated.”
Cloyd Garth said he hasn’t officially submitted his application, but that he would like to remain the Aberdeen High School girls basketball coach. Aberdeen High School Athletic Director Hansel Gunn said earlier this week that the opening for the girls basketball job hasn’t been posted. He said he expects it to be listed in the next few weeks. Still, word of the opening has been circulating on the Internet and through the high school coaching ranks.
Two more New Hope High School baseball players will have opportunities to play that sport in college. Third baseman T.J. Upton and left fielder Josh Ferguson performed well enough Tuesday at a tryout at East Mississippi Community College that coach Tony Montgomery has invited them to join the program Ferguson, who already has signed a football scholarship to attend EMCC, will try to work with the team at least twice a week in the fall to keep his baseball skills sharp.
Johnathan McKenzie received more than a diploma Friday when he graduated from Starkville Academy. In a special presentation at graduation, McKenzie was honored with the Don Souder Award for being the outstanding male student-athlete in the Mississippi Private School Association.
Progress won’t be measured for real until at least three months — and for some teams it will be even longer than that. But Chris Duncan, Bubba Davis, and M.C. Miller all came away impressed Saturday with the performances of their football teams in their spring finales.
1. Transfer King has chance to play key role at Starkville HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Tigers will work on little things with QB White HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Noxubee County's Brooks has sack mark in sights HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Moorhead wants offense, linemen to be versatile COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Pick your word for your prep football team LOCAL COLUMNS