• 68°

Healing process begins at BHS

After enduring the saddest, cruelest spring in Brookhaven HighSchool athletic department history, it’s time to turn over a newleaf, take a deep breath and look to the future. There are newcoaches in nearly every sport at BHS. The changes, most of themmajor changes, will affect the future lives of many girls and boyswho participate in athletics.

Yours truly has been covering BHS athletics for 32 years. Wehave seen coaches come and coaches go but never at this year’srate. Compounded by sexual abuse charges against two of them, itmakes me wonder. It boggles my mind and breaks my heart.

Is there no end to man’s inhumanity to man?

Coaching is a demanding task and there certainly is a shortageof good Christian men and women entering that area of education.Many coaches live a gypsy lifestyle, moving from one town to thenext after just a year or two at one location.

Some folks call it climbing the ladder of success. Others callit survival. Coaching high school athletics can be treacherous.Watch your step and watch your back. You can be a hero one day anda goat the next.

Obviously, a coach can’t please all of the people all of thetime. Obviously, it’s the same way in sports writing.

Tucker Peavey, a hometown hero, is coming home to serve asathletic director and head football coach at BHS. He has a wealthof football knowledge on the college and junior college level. Howwell he guides these young teenagers will determine his success onKing Field.

Certainly, a head coach is dependent on his staff of assistantfootball coaches. That’s another key. Peavey is looking for thebest possible assistants available.

Looking ahead, Peavey also must find coaches for boys soccer,golf and powerlifting. Perhaps some of his assistant footballcoaches will fill those positions.

Charles Willoughby, who co-coached the BHS boys soccer team withRob McCreary last season, announced his resignation last week.Willoughby was moving to Oxford where he and his new wife willreside while she attends Ole Miss law school. He was hoping to finda coaching/teaching job in that area.

Powerlifting was initiated by former BHS AD/football coachAndrew Hickman last winter. Jules Pitts, powerlifting and assistantfootball coach, has returned to Florida in search of employment.Powerlifting improves strength and motion quickness, especially infootball players.

Brookhaven always has had a high level of success in basketball.Hopefully, new boys coach Ronald Hines and new girls coach BillyHolmes can keep the Panthers and Lady Panthers on the winningtrack.

Pat Hardy is expected to return as head track coach at BHS. HisLady Panthers made a strong showing in the Class 4A state meet,finishing second to Pearl. Hardy has a young team so they should betitle contenders again next spring.

BHS baseball coach Randy Spring endured an injury-filledcampaign. The Panthers played for pride and character after abrutal start and showed some improvement. A key injury was acepitcher Justin Sykes breaking a bone in his upper right arm duringa windup and delivery to home plate. Hopefully, Sykes will make afull recovery and be able to play his senior year.

Still recovering from the May sports banquet tour, we enjoyedthe BHS Spring Sports Banquet the most because it was the shortest.Athletes in six sports were honored. Some folks who had becomeaccustomed to having individual banquets for baseball, tennis,fastpitch softball, powerlifting, golf and track, griped about theformat.

Still, it was an enjoyable evening. Bringing together parentsand athletes from such diversified sports was an eye-opener. Eachcoach was given an opportunity to share the praises of theirrespective sports.

Sports fans got to see state tennis champion Stuart Misnerreceive his MVP trophy and Ashley Hall accept hers. KenyattaColeman and Jimmy Johns, freshman sensations in track, got theirMVP awards and lots of applause. Austin Mills, a seventh grader,received the MVP trophy in golf. In fastpitch softball, seniorsecond baseman Ginny Dunaway took home the MVP award. Senior firstbaseman Ben Goza was recognized as baseball’s MVP. In powerlifting,Tramel McArthur was a first-place region winner in the 198-poundclass.

Nearly 300 people attended the banquet held at the Multi-PurposeBuilding. Besides watching their own children being recognized,parents had the opportunity to see and hear what was happening inother sports. This should be a must-attend event for all schoolboard members and administrators.

TENNIS NEWS: Congratulations to Anna C. Moak of Brookhaven. Moakwon the Cabot Lodge Mississippi Junior Qualifying ClosedChampionships in Girls 14s. She beat Tan Graham of Jackson 6-2, 6-3in the finals at Ridgeland Tennis Center.

In Boys 18s, import Robbye Poole of Charlotte, N.C., defeatedMisner 6-2, 6-4 in the finals. Poole’s mother lives in Ridgeland sohe is known as a Mississippian, according to the United StatesTennis Association.

Other Brookhaven netters: Jerrod Rayborn won Boys 16sconsolation and Elliott Warren won Boys 14s consolation. LaneLofton reached the finals of Boys 18s consolation.