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Spring football practice on tap

Ahhhh, the rites of spring.

The long-awaited start of spring football practice begins Mondayfor most area schools. According to Mississippi High SchoolActivities Association rules, the coaches will be allowed topractice their players 15 days, make that five days in shorts and10 in full gear.

That routine will be climaxed by either a spring game, springjamboree, intrasquad game or just a plain, old scrimmage. SouthwestMississippi Community College in Summit is hosting a major jamboreeon Saturday, May 17. Brookhaven and Lawrence County will join otherClass 4A and 5A teams in the day-long competition. Each school willplay two halves of football.

Brookhaven, under the direction of Coach TuckerPeavey, starts practice Monday. The Panthers advanced tothe South State 4A quarterfinals last season, losing to eventualstate champion D’Iberville on a muddy field.

Seems like it was just a few weeks ago instead of late Novemberwhen the Panthers visited D’Iberville. I wore insulated socks,protected by rubber ducks, a wool hat, turtle neck sweater, glovesand insulated underwear for the frigid Friday night.

Yes, the layers of clothing made the evening quitecomfortable.

Peavey’s entire offensive line and quarterback JimmyJohns are among the returnees. As a sophomore Johns wasselected The DAILY LEADER’s Most Valuable Player and MisterFootball on the 2002 All-Lincoln County Football Team.

Wesson starts spring practice, Tuesday, April 29. The Cobraswill host a scrimmage May 15, featuring Bogue Chitto and CrystalSprings. They will wear game uniforms.

Wesson head coach Ronald Greer lost 14 seniorsto graduation from last year’s South State quarterfinals team.

West Lincoln’s Bears, under the direction of WillieBrumfield, start practice Monday. Varsity and junior highplayers will practice for 15 days.

“We expect about 55 kids,” answered Brumfield, when asked aboutnumbers for spring practice.

Lawrence County, coached by Trent Hammond,starts practice Monday. The Cougars will participate in thejamboree at Southwest Community College, May 17, playing Natchezand Amite County.

Enterprise will host a scrimmage on Thursday, May 15, includingWest Lincoln, Dexter and Salem. Kickoff is 6 p.m. The YellowJackets begin practice next week. Coach RickyDeere said he expects around 45 players to participate inspring drills.

Franklin County, coached by Anthony Hart,starts practice Monday. The Bulldogs will host the Cellular SouthFootball Jamboree May 15, featuring Tylertown, Wilkinson County,North Pike and Jefferson County.

Hart and his wife, Traci, are expecting theirthird child in early June.

Brookhaven Academy, under the direction of RayIshee, wrapped up preseason drills before spring break.That gave the athletes more time to concentrate on other springsports.

Speaking of spring sports, it’s a shame that the Lincoln Countyschools don’t have track programs. Track & field is a greatsport. If you’re too little or too slow to play other sports, trackcould be the answer. To be a distance runner, the training regimenis difficult. It requires dedication, discipline and endurance.

Brookhaven’s track is in desperate need of resurfacing. Theprice tag is $100,000 and that’s a healthy chunk of change.Naturally, BHS is unable to host track meets on King Field becauseof the surface conditions.

Bet you could get your name on the track if you donated thenecessary funds to resurface it. Pole vault is another problem.Under the National High School Association’s new guidelines, mostpole vault runways and pits are obsolete.

Extra precautions have been installed to provide additionalsafety for young athletes. So, most high schools don’t have anadequate and approved pole vault facility.

Brookhaven Academy is almost in the same boat. The Cougarsusually practice sprints on the asphalt parking lot. Shot put,discus, high jump and long jump are more compatible to a grasssurface.

Despite the conditions, the BHS track team has done well thisspring, especially the Lady Panthers. Led by standout juniorsprinter Kenyata Coleman, the BHS girls won theDivision 6-4A track meet last week at McComb. The Panthers finishedfifth.

Coleman helped the 400 and 800-meter relay teams to victories inthe division meet. Joining her on the baton-exchange wereLatoria Kerr, Shaleshia Trunner, and AliciaHawkins.

The spring sports banquet tour begins a busy schedule Saturdaynight at the old National Guard Armory on Highway 51 North.Enterprise will hold its annual bash Saturday night, starting at6:30 p.m. Athletes in all sports will be honored.

Guest speaker for the event is David Poinsett,Co-Lin’s colorful head football coach.