Hornets make golf successful sport

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 28, 2002

Some folks snickered when Loyd Star announced it was starting agolf team five years ago. The Hornets were known best for theirfootball, baseball and basketball teams.

Golf at a county school?

Ricky Myers, Loyd Star’s coach, a devoted golfer in his ownright, saw the potential. He grew up in a sports-minded family withWest Lincoln roots. While attending college, he fell in love withgolf and the rest in history.

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Loyd Star, a Class 2A school, hosted the state golf tournamentlast May. The Hornets made a strong showing at the Wolf Hollow GolfClub and placed third in final team standings. To say the least,that was quite an accomplishment.

Myers made the team dedicate themselves to improving theirindividual skills before the next state tournament. During thesweat-soaked days of summer you could see those Loyd Star playerswalking the Wolf Hollow hills, toting those red golf bags,squinting from the sun’s glare and following that little white ballfrom hole to hole.

That work ethic is paying off this spring. The Hornets areundefeated in seven matches. Their latest success came Tuesdayagainst a group of larger schools, most of them Class 4A. Theydefeated runner-up West Jones by seven strokes. The Hornets were 9shots ahead of Laurel and 18 ahead of fourth place South Jones.

Leading the way was Loyd Star senior Trent Maddox with a1-over-par 73 at the Pine Belt Golf Club. Blake Windham followedMaddox with a 78 and Josh Wright shot 80. Dylan Britt shot 84 andChris Hester posted a 96.

Northeast Jones, under the direction of Loyd Star grad BrooksBurns, finished fifth with a 341. Forest was sixth with 342.

The Hornets got their week off to a great start by winning aquadrangular match at Wolf Hollow. They shot a 167, beating secondplace St. Andrew’s at 186 by 19 strokes. Third place went toBrookhaven at 196 and fourth place to Bassfield at 224.

Jody Britt, one of the best golfers on last year’s Loyd Starteam, underwent surgery last week to repair a torn ACL andcartilage damage to his right knee. A 3-sport star, Britt was anoutstanding kicker and receiver on last season’s football teamwhich advanced to the South State championship game. He alsostarted for the baseball team.

Britt suffered the injury while playing church leaguebasketball. Hopefully, the talented junior will make a strongrecovery from rehab and be ready for next football season.

Got the rain-soaked blues?

Brookhaven Academy is singing the loudest song this spring. TheCougar baseball team already has had nine games rained out and theApril showers haven’t arrived on the scene yet.

Ron Rushing’s Cougars are a favorite in the District 4-AA racebut they have been slowed by rainouts. The district games aresupposed to be made up later so that puts a strain on the pitchingstaff when you have to double up.

Speaking of pitching problems, the Co-Lin Wolves suffered apainful loss when sophomore hurler Derek Atkins was diagnosed witha torn MCL in his arm. Atkins, an early signee with MississippiState University, certainly will be missed.

To their credit, the Wolves regrouped Tuesday and won a bigdoubleheader from the Hinds Community College Eagles. Freshmanpitchers Cole Zumbro of Meadville and Kendall Poole of Brookhavendid an outstanding job on the mound. They were supported by keyhits and great defensive plays, too.

Keith Case’s Wolves are defending Region 23 Tournament championsbut they face a demanding stretch run through April. They play atwinbill at LSU -Eunice Friday. Co-Lin’s bats are strong but thepitching must continue to improve.

The Loyd Star Hornets and Bogue Chitto Bobcats have assertedthemselves in their respective division races. The Hornets, coachedby Sidney Wheatley, are 14-4 overall and 5-0 in Division 6-2A playafter beating St. Joseph at Madison Tuesday.

The Bobcats, under the direction of first-year head coach CarlCole, are 2-1 in Division 7-1A play and 7-2 overall. Their chiefchallenger is the Natchez Cathedral Green Wave.

The Compaq Classic of New Orleans has added New Zealand nativeCraig Perks, winner of The Players Championship, to the field forthe PGA Tour event at English Turn, April 29-May 5. Other recentcommitments are veterans Scott Hoch and Kenny Perry.

Perks made history last weekend as the first person to claim hisfirst PGA Tour victory at the TPC. The million-dollar first placeprize advanced him to second on the 2002 money list. Perks playedhis college golf at Oklahoma and the University ofLouisana-Lafayette and earned All-American honors.

The Compaq Classic’s $4.5-million purse is fourth highest amongthe co-sponsored tournaments on Tour (not including the majors andthe World Golf Championship). The first prize is $810,000.

For tickets, or more information, call 504-831-GOLF or visit theweb site www.compaqclassicpgatour.com.