Breakfield’s Hornets exceed expectations

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 20, 2005

Jonathan Breakfield inherited a pressure-filled position when hewas named head baseball coach at Loyd Star. The tradition-richHornets had won three straight Division 6-2A championships and thecommunity almost took it for granted.

Breakfield had to replace seven starters from the 2004 squadthat Sidney Wheatley coached to the state playoffs. Fueled by hardwork and determination, Breakfield drew a deep breath, whispered aprayer and hoped for the best when practice began in January.

The Hornets exceeded the expectations of many, winning thedivision title for a fourth straight time. They posted a 20-10record and advanced to the South State 2A semifinals beforeGulfport St. John eliminated the Hornets.

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Breakfield’s efforts have earned him The DAILY LEADER’s 2005Coach of the Year accolades on the All-Lincoln County BaseballTeam. At 25 years of age, he is one of the youngest head coaches towin the award.

“We had a scrappy bunch of kids,” said Breakfield. “They playedtheir hearts out. We had good pitching, too.”

Breakfield said enthusiasm for the Loyd Star baseball program ishigh. “We get a lot of support from the community and the parents.Our administration supports us too. That makes my job a loteasier.”

He and assistant coach Josh Thibodeaux instilled a strong workethic for the team. They also tried to make the game enjoyable.

Loyd Star only lost two defensive starters to graduation in leftfielder Scott Farmer and third baseman Austin Fagan, plusdesignated hitter Christopher Hester. Obviously, expectations arehigh for the 2006 squad.

Breakfield said he has four pitchers returning in Kyle James(3-2), Patrick Holcomb (5-5), Jarred Rogers (8-1) and TylerWilliford (2-1). Williford also starts at catcher and Rogers playsshortstop.

Also returning next season will be center fielder Michael Britt,right fielder Brent Fielder and infielders Jeremy James and CayceFalvey. Breakfield’s Hornets swung their bats with authority,compiling a .340 team batting average.

According to Breakfield, Loyd Star belongs to one of thestrongest divisions in Mississippi. “St. Andrew’s and McLaurin arealways tough. Wesson is strong, too.”

A summer baseball program is important and Breakfield has histeam busy playing games to improve their skills. “We want to letthem have fun in the summer.”

Breakfield celebrates his 26th birthday July 27. He is a 1997graduate of Columbia High School, and he is married to the formerRobyn Wade of Collins. They are members of Mt. Zion BaptistChurch.

“My wife is very supportive of my coaching,” said Breakfield.”Coach Thibodeaux has been a great help to our program’s success,too.”

A spiritual beacon at Loyd Star, Breakfield leads the school’sFellowship of Christian Athletes chapter.

He attended Pearl River Community College for two years andgraduated from Southern Miss is 2001, with a degree in coaching andsports administration.

Besides baseball, Breakfield works with the Loyd Star footballteam. That’s another sport which thrives on strong communitysupport.