Davis leads Lawence Co. sports

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2004

MONTICELLO — Mike Davis wants Lawrence County students tobecome more than just outstanding athletes. The new athleticdirector of the Lawrence County public schools wants them to besolid citizens in the community.

Davis, 39, has been a member of the LCHS athletic departmentstaff for 10 years. He graduated from Monticello High School in1983. His first official day as AD was July 1.

Besides LCHS, Davis will oversee the athletic programs at NewHebron, Topeka-Tilton and Ron Paige Middle School. Named headfootball coach this spring, he also will teach algebra.

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“We have a great staff of coaches here,” said Davis. “Many ofthem have worked together for several years. The newer coachesbring a lot of good things to the team, too.”

New to the football staff are Jay Smith of Raymond and LarryCourtney from French Camp. Smith will coach the freshman team andwork with junior high baseball. Courtney, with coaching experienceat Cumberland (Tenn.) College, will work as defensivecoordinator.

Also on the LCHS football staff are Craig Davis, offensive line;Cory Keyes, defensive secondary; Larry Collins, defensive line; andEric Booth, freshman team.

Veterans Bobby Lee and Eddie Rials are returning to coach theboys basketball program. Jenie Vance has been hired to coach girlsbasketball.

Rob Alford will continue coaching the tennis team and boyssoccer. Girls soccer is still open, plus girls and boys track.

Tarvey and Suzie Ward will continue to be in charge of theslowpitch softball program. Beronica Stringfellow returns asfastpitch coach.

Other coaches on staff are Steve Clyburn, cross country; andRicky Sykes, golf.

“We have responsible people on our coaching staff,” saidDavis.”They take care of business.”

There are around 650 students enrolled at LCHS in grades9-12.

“We have to work hard and work together as a team to besuccessful,”said Davis. “We have to lift each other up.”

Mike Davis replaced Trent Hammond as head coach when Hammondaccepted a head job at Water Valley. Davis, running backs andquarterbacks coach, had the opportunity to coach under Mike Smith,Danny Adams and Hammond at LCHS.

“Mike Smith gave me my first coaching job and I appreciatethat,” said Davis. After graduating from Co-Lin, Davis spent 10years working for Ingalls Ship Building in Pascagoula. He startedas a welder’s apprentice.

“(Ingalls) paid for my (college) education,” said Davis. Heobtained a degree in mathematics. Currently, he is pursuing amaster’s degree in administration at Jackson State University.

He is married to the former Brenda May of New Hebron and theyhave two children, Kate, a 14-year-old freshman at LCHS; and Lake,an 11-year-old sixth grader.

“Our athletic facilities are in good shape,” said Davis.”We havea lot of community support, even when we have a down year. A lot oftimes when we go on the road, our people will outnumber the homefans.”

Davis said he has been encouraged by the administrative supportprovided the athletic program. “Our administration has always beenwilling to help. “Our superintendent, (Russell Caudill) has beenvery supportive.”

Davis replaces Tony Davis who is the new director of alternativeeducation in Lawrence County. He coached the LCHS baseball team for14 years and served as AD for 8 years.

“I would say Mike is a person that a lot of persons like,” saidTony Davis. “I have faith and confidence in him that he will do agood job as a coach and administrator.”