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Wheatley hopes to keep Hornets in state playoffs

Sidney Wheatley is the new head football coach at Loyd Star. Hehopes to continue Loyd Star’s state playoff tradition.

Wheatley, 34 is a native of Union, Miss. He graduated fromMcLaurin Attendance Center in 1986. He replaces Anthony Hart wholeft Loyd Star after two years as head coach to take the head jobat Franklin County.

Loyd Star principal Terry Brister said Wheatley was the rightchoice for the job. “I had interviewed several head coaches andthen I interviewed some assistant coaches with three to five yearsexperience.

“Coach Wheatley said he was interested in the job. He has astrong football knowledge and he knows the players.

Brister said he has known Wheatley since his high school dayswhen he played quarterback at McLaurin. “He’s an outstandingperson. I’m confident he will do a good job as head coach.”

Wheatley played quarterback at McLaurin and at MississippiCollege for Coach John Williams. He later transferred toArkansas-Monticello where he played both catcher in baseball andquarterback in football.

In college, Wheatley majored in coaching and sportsadministration. He started coaching football and baseball atDemopolis, Ala. and was there for two years. He coached at Unionfor two years as head baseball coach and assistant football coach.He arrived at Loyd Star last summer.

On the 2001 football team, Wheatley coached wide receivers andthe secondary at Loyd Star. The Hornets enjoyed their greatestseason, advancing to the South State championship game againstGulfport St. John and posting an 11-2 record.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” said Wheatley. “I hadtalked with Mr. Brister about the job. He was looking for a guywith at least five years experience. This is something I wanted todo.

“We have a good, successful foundation here and I want to takeit to the next level.”

Five of Loyd Star’s 15 seniors were junior college signees.

“We lost a tremendous group of seniors,” said Wheatley. “Theywill be tough to replace. We have a large junior class this comingyear. They will have to step up.

“While we did lose a good group, I feel like our younger playerswill be successful as soon as they get the experience they need tohave.”

In the meantime, Wheatley said he is trying to fill severalvacancies on the football staff. “We are continuing that process.We are interviewing candidates. We hope to hire threeassistants.”

Assistant coach Johnny Daves left for Ocean Springs. BradleyCrow has taken a job outside of Lincoln County. Offensivecoordinator Barry Reeves retired and entered private business inJanuary.

Eddie Britt was hired as an assistant coach this week. Hishiring was approved at Monday night’s Lincoln County School Boardmeeting.

“We are starting our summer lifting program,” said Wheatley. “Wewill start June 3 and run through Aug. 5, before we starttwo-a-days. We want to be in there three or four times a week. Youdon’t start working on football in August.”

The Hornets open their season August 30, at Bay Springs.