Coaches convene at All Sports Clinic

Published 5:00 am Friday, July 18, 2003

Call it a Coaching Convention.

High School and college coaches from across the Magnolia Stateand elsewhere are gathering this week in Jackson for theMississippi Association of Coaches 48th Annual Mississippi AllSports Clinic. Held at the Hilton Hotel, it is sponsored byGatorade.

Coaches have an opportunity to exchange ideas, play some golf,swap stories, share gossip and learn a lot.

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Among the featured speakers are Southern Miss head footballcoach Jeff Bower, Delta State head baseball coach Mike Kinnison,Grambling head football coach Doug Williams, retired football coachBob Tyler of Millsaps and Mississippi State fame, track coaches JoeWalker of Ole Miss and Carl Sheffield of North Texas State,assistant women’s basketball coach Peggy Gillom of Ole Miss,softball coaches Candi Letts of Ole Miss and Joanne Graf of FloridaState and Gary Frank, recognized as the World’s Strongest Man.

Coaches on both sides of the podium can learn a lot. Collegecoaches can obtain some inside recruiting info from the high schoolcoaches. A little public relations can go a long way when it comestime to recruit that young superstar who can bench 400 pounds andrun like the wind.

Today at noon, the Mississippi chapter of the Fellowship ofChristian Athletes will host a luncheon at the Hilton Hotel inJackson. FCA state director Bill Buckner will introduce FCANational director Dal Shealey to the crowd.

Last week at a meeting here in Brookhaven, Buckner told us thatMississippi State head football coach Jackie Sherrill would bepresent for the luncheon, plus head football coach David Cutcliffeof Ole Miss. Buckner was in Brookhaven to meet with some localbusiness leaders regarding the future of an FCA director forDistrict Seven.

District Seven is a large area, starting at the north end ofCopiah County in Crystal Springs, going south to Columbia, east toMonticello and west to Woodville. Former Brookhaven resident RobertHolloway held the District Seven position one year before returningto full-time employment in the field of education. Holloway nowserves as principal at Crystal Springs.

All-star games have been an integral part of the MAC’s All-StarWeek. The oldest game is the 54th Bernard Blackwell All-StarFootball Classic. This year it’s sponsored by Entergy.

Formerly known as the Mississippi High School All-Star FootballGame, it originated in 1950, created by Mississippi State coachArthur “Slick” Moreton. The Jackson Touchdown Club sponsored thegame until 1992 and it was annually played in Jackson’s cavernousMississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

In 1994, the game was renamed in honor of Blackwell, the lateExecutive director for the MAC. Blackwell was a warm, PR-mindedman, affectionately know as Coach Blackwell. He drowned in afishing accident in the early 1990s.

If you are keeping score, the South holds a 24-21-4 lead in theseries. The North won last year’s game, played at Madison Central,20-7.

The annual Bill Stewart and Cotton Robertson Awards will bepresented at halftime of Friday night’s game. Representing FranklinCounty on the South roster are Coach Anthony Hart and offensivelineman Brandon Halford.

The newest all-star game is the girls fastpitch contest. It wasplayed four weeks ago at Newton County, in conjunction with theslowpitch game.

The Mississippi Sports Medicine All-Star Girls & BoysBasketball Games are tonight at Mississippi College in Clinton. Thegirls tip it off at 6:30, followed by the boys at 8.

Area players on the South girls roster are Jessica Melton ofBogue Chitto, Aiesha Collins of Hazlehurst and Travelyn Smith ofJefferson County. Coaching the South girls are Freda Craft ofHazlehurst and Wayne Fortenberry of Purvis.

The South boys have three area players on the roster in LukeLofton of West Lincoln, D.J. Carr of McComb and Torrey Crumedy ofDexter. Coaching the South boys are Hilton Harrell of McComb andBill Ricks of Greene County.

Two months ago, the MAC had visions of Mississippi All-Starbasketball players Travis Outlaw of Starkville and Jackie Butler ofMcComb playing in the North-South showdown. It would have been agreat drawing card but Outlaw was drafted and signed with the NBAPortland Trail Blazers while Butler elected not to play.

The MAC’s All-Star Tennis Tournament will be held Friday atParham Bridges Tennis Center in Jackson. It starts at 1 p.m., andadmission is free.

On the South team from Brookhaven are Stuart Misner, SadieCorban, Lane Lofton and Judson Langston. Coaching the South areTerri Garron of Madison Central and Craig Winship of WestJones.

Brookhaven claimed a representative in the All-Star Soccer Gamewhich was held last month at Hinds Community College in Raymond.Goalkeeper Domenick DiPaolo represented BHS and played for theSouth as the North posted a 3-0 shutout. DiPaolo has signed ascholarship with Millsaps College.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER at P.O.Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39601 or e-mail