Keys to lead Lawrence baseball

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 30, 2004

MONTICELLO — Cory Keyes is the new head baseball coach atLawrence County and he wants to continue the winning tradition.Keyes, 25, replaces Chris Clark who accepted a full-time positionwith the Mississippi National Guard.

A Monticello native, Keyes graduated from Lawrence County HighSchool in 1997. He played outfield for LCHS athletic director TonyDavis from 1994-97.

Keys attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College and obtained hisbachelor’s degree from Southern Miss. He majored in coaching andsports administration.

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He started coaching baseball in 2002, spending one year with BHScoach Randy Spring and the past two years at Lawrence County. Healso coached football and soccer at LCHS.

Keyes is married to Jennifer Lambert of Monticello. She is anx-ray technician at Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Centerin McComb.

Longtime assistant coach Craig Davis will continue to assistwith the baseball program. Jay Smith, a newcomer to the LCHSathletic staff, will assist with football and baseball.

“It’s an honor to get this job,” said Keyes. “We want tocontinue the winning tradition that Tony Davis and Chris Clark havedone.

“Being a native of Monticello, I always wanted to teach andcoach here.”

Keyes said he appreciated the support he received from theLawrence County administration. “I want to thank principal L.C.Firle, principal Darrell Turner, athletic director Tony Davis andsuperintendent Russell Caudill.”

The Cougars lost four starters to graduation. Five startersreturn for the 2005 season.

“We have a good youth league system,” said Keyes. “People likebaseball here.”

Keyes said the players must work hard to be successful in Region6-4A. Brookhaven is fresh from winning the 4A statechampionship.

“We are in a tough division with the likes of Brookhaven, McComband Terry,” said Keyes. “South Pike is getting better, too.”

Keyes said the LCHS baseball schedule for next season isbasically set. The Cougars will play in the Taylorsville Classic,meeting Forest and Morton, Feb. 19. Their first official practiceis the first week in January.

During the fall season, Keyes said his baseball players whodon’t play football would be lifting three days a week andperforming fundamental drills.