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State championship gives Peavey top goal

Coach Tucker Peavey’s ultimate goal for his Ole Brook footballteam was to win a state championship. That dream was realized Dec.4, when the Panthers defeated Clarksdale 29-23 for the Class 4Astate title.

Peavey’s Panthers finished 14-1. For his team’s accomplishments,Peavey is honored as The DAILY LEADER’s 2004 Coach of the Year onthe All-Lincoln County Football Team. His overall record is 30-9 atBHS.

“We wound up where we wanted to be,” said Peavey. “You have tostart your season working for a state championship.”

The Panthers advanced to the third round in 2002, Peavey’s firstyear at the helm, losing to D’Iberville, the eventual statechampion. Last year they lost to state champion Wayne County in thesecond round.

The third time was a charm.

“We really appreciate the community support we have received,”said Peavey. “Our school administration has been very supportive,too.”

Peavey loses 19 seniors to graduation, 14 of them starters.Indeed, they are a special group. “I could see we had a talentedgroup of athletes when they were freshmen,” Peavey recalled. “Itwas a good mixture of skill players and linemen.”

He said sharing credit with his coaching staff was important.”Our coaching staff has been together for three years. We have agood combination of people, coaching knowledge and background.”

“We hired them to coach so we have to let them coach.” saidPeavey. “You have to be able to trust them.”

Jaymie Palmer is Ole Brook’s offensive coordinator and RodHenderson is defensive coordinator. Patrick Hardy coaches thedefensive secondary and Trevor Brister the defensive line. EricStokes coaches the receivers and works with special teams.

Looking ahead to 2005, the Panthers resume their offseasonschedule the first week of January. “We’ll be running and liftingweights.”

Peavey said the future looks bright for Ole Brook football. “Wehave seven starters returning on defense and we have some goodskill people. We have to find some linemen.”

Peavey, 42, celebrates his next birthday Jan. 12. He is a 1980graduate of BHS. He played football at BHS for Larry Thomas and LesBumgarner.

At Copiah-Lincoln Community College, he worked as a tight end,guard and linebacker for Coach James Sloan. Peavey then attendedSouthern Miss where he graduated with a degree in athleticadministration and secondary education.

This is Peavey’s third year back at his alma mater aftercoaching stints on the senior college, junior college and highschool levels. He coached three years at the University ofLouisiana-Lafayette, working with the offensive line, serving onJerry Baldwin’s staff. He accepted the Pearl River CommunityCollege job but left after only a few months when the Brookhavenposition became available. He coached five years at UL-Monroe asoffensive line coach and assistant head coach to EdZaunbrecher.

Peavey began his coaching career in Petal in 1986. He worked forRush McKay. He then worked at LSU for three years with Mike Archer,serving as running backs coach the first year and offensive tacklecoach the next two years.

Other coaching duties saw him at Itawamba Community CommunityCollege in Fulton for one year and Episcopal High School in BatonRouge for two years before going to Monroe.

He is married to the former Leah Ann Holtslander of Natchez.They met at Co-Lin. They have four children, Lauren, Ashley, Nickand Emily. When his wife’s sister died last spring, they adoptedher two daughters. The family belongs to First Baptist Church.

According to Mrs. Peavey, her husband doesn’t bring his workhome with him. “I have to listen to him talking to someone on thetelephone to find out what’s going on with the team. He’s reallygreat to live with.”

Peavey said he receives plenty of support at home for hiscareer. “My wife is a former athlete herself. She’s very supportiveof my coaching.”