Wheatley likes to coach Hornets

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

Sidney Wheatley likes his surroundings at Loyd Star. In twoyears, Wheatley has twice directed the Hornets to the Class 2ASouth State Semifinals.

This year the Hornets lost a tough semifinals series toSeminary, finishing with a 22-9 record. For his accomplishments,Wheatley has been selected The DAILY LEADER’s Co-Coach of the Yearon the 2003 All-Lincoln County Baseball Team. He shares the honorwith Randy Spring of Brookhaven.

Wheatley’s Hornets won the Division 6-2A championship for asecond consecutive year. They were led by the two senior members ofthe team, shortstop/pitcher Jody Britt and outfielder/pitcher BlakeWall.

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“We lose two very good seniors in Blake and Jody but I feel verygood about next year’s team,” said Wheatley. He returns 7 starters,directed by pitcher/outfielder Jared Britt, the DL’s DefensivePlayer of the Year.

Returning for the Hornets are catcher Matthew Delaughter, firstbaseman David Cuevas, second baseman Justin Whatley, third basemanPatrick Holcomb, shortstop Tyler Williford, leftfielder CodyCunningham and rightfielder Lee Newell.

Loyd Star’s athletic program receives enthusiastic support fromthe community but the expectations are extremely high. Wheatleyrealized the pressure to win and he was advised by Loyd Starprincipal Terry Brister before taking the head job.

“Mr. Brister told me I would have a good group of athletes towork with,” said Wheatley. “I’ve been fortunate to coach at LoydStar.”

Wheatley, 35, was promoted to head football coach last seasonwhen Anthony Hart departed for Franklin County. This is his secondyear as head baseball coach. He has two assistant baseball coachesin Jonathan Breakfield and volunteer Chip Brister.

A 1986 McLaurin graduate, Wheatley played football and baseballat Mississippi College. He transferred to Arkansas-Monticello andplayed shortstop for the Boll Weevils. He graduated from theUniversity of Southern Miss with a degree in sports administrationwith an emphasis on teaching.

Wheatley began his coaching career in Demopolis, Ala., staying 2years as an assistant. He returned to the Magnolia State andcoached at Union for 2 years before coming to Loyd Star. He teachesseventh grade social studies.

This summer Wheatley is coaching a summer league team at LoydStar. This will help the Hornets hone their baseball skills and getready for another state playoff run in 2004.