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Many new football coaches on scene

It has been a migratory year for coaches, especially high schoolhead football coaches. To put it mildly, you need a program toidentify all the new faces in the area coaching ranks.

In Lincoln County alone, there are three new head footballcoaches among the six schools. Newcomers are Wade Henderson at LoydStar, Mac Bezet at Enterprise and Brooks Burns at West Lincoln.Holdovers are Tucker Peavey at Brookhaven, Ray Ishee at BrookhavenAcademy and Gareth Sartin at Bogue Chitto.

In Copiah County, Tommy Clopton is the new gridiron boss atWesson and Mitch Mitchell is the new leader at Copiah Academy,although he is a veteran basketball coach at the Gallman-basedschool. Willie Brown will continue coaching the HazlehurstIndians.

In Lawrence County, Mike Davis is the new head coach of theCougars after 10 years as an assistant.

In Franklin County, Anthony Hart remains in charge of theBulldogs and has assumed the responsibility of athletic director aswell.

In Pike County, the situation appears unchanged. Ted Milton iscoaching McComb, Randall Huffman is coaching South Pike, AdamBarron is directing North Pike and Charlie Newlon is leadingParklane Academy. Dom Green is coaching Southwest CommunityCollege.

It seems too hot for football practice but the first officialpreseason day arrives July 26 for all Mississippi Private SchoolAssociation teams. The public or Mississippi High School ActivitiesAssociation members kick off preseason practice a week later, Aug.2.

The slowpitch softball season also is just around the corner.Classic games will be played Saturday, Aug. 6, beforeregular-season action gets under way. Slowpitch still is a popularitem in this area of the Magnolia State.

There should be some slowpitch title contenders, too. WestLincoln and Bogue Chitto are expected to be strong in Class 1A.Brookhaven and Lawrence County could be title contenders in Class4A. North Pike should be strong again in Class 3A. Wesson should bestrong in Division 6-2A.

The MPSA plays fastpitch in the fall and slowpitch in thespring, the direct opposite of the MHSAA. Fastpitch practice in theMPSA begins next week and the season starts the last week ofJuly.

In other coaching news, the husband/wife team of Scott andDenise Leggett are holding softball tryouts at Bogue Chitto on July19, starting at 9 a.m. on Stan Long Field. The Leggetts replaceDuane and Amy Burt at the helm.

In another softball item, the Leggetts are hosting a benefit4-person scramble golf tournament for cancer patient Daniel Burns.It will be held Saturday, July 31, at the Wolf Hollow Golf Club onthe Copiah-Lincoln Community College campus. Tee time is 2 p.m.

The entry fee is $75 per player and $300 per team. Entrydeadline is July 28.

Due to limited play, only the first 120 players or 30 teams willbe accepted. For more information, contact the Leggetts at 823-3587and 757-6769.

More coaching news. Former Bogue Chitto basketball coach JasonKennedy has been hired to coach girls basketball at Franklinton,La. Kennedy coached the Lady ‘Cats and Bobcats for one season andenjoyed remarkable success. Saddled with a rebuilding label,neither team was expected to do very well but bothoverachieved.

Certainly, Bogue Chitto has a deep tradition in athletics. Bothsoftball teams and the football team advanced to the state playoffslast season. There’s no shortage of enthusiasm and communitysupport for BC athletics.

Golf news: The Farm Bureau Invitational will be held July 16-18at the Hattiesburg Country Club. THE MPGA will showcase a field ofthe state’s top golf professionals and amateurs.

Limited to 160 players, the field includes 41 professionals and119 amateurs. The total purse for professionals and amateur golfersis $30,000. Pros play for cash prizes while amateurs vie for giftcertificates and merchandise prizes.

Established in 1959, the Hattiesburg Country Club is achallenging course with majestic, towering pine trees lining mostof the fairways. Rett Crowder is the defending champion. LanePippen won the title in 2002.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com