Enterprise copes with changes in coaching positions

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Enterprise principal Shannon Eubanks has been busy this summerdealing with wholesale changes in the athletic department. Fourcoaches have departed and he has hired four replacements.

“We are real excited about the coaches we’ve brought in,” saidEubanks. “I was looking for discipline, consistency andenthusiasm.”

Among the newcomers are head football coach Roe Burns, headbaseball coach Seth Lofton, head boys basketball coach Joshua Bassand assistant girls basketball coach Rusti Smith-Magee. Burnsreplaces Mac Bezet who resigned after one year.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Roe Burns loves the game and he graduated from Enterprise,”said Eubanks. “I coached with him at Loyd Star.”

Burns, 58, came out of retirement and served as offensivecoordinator last year at Enterprise. He had served 20 years at LoydStar as head coach.

“Coach Bass has done a great job here this summer,” saidEubanks. “His players are working hard. He knows it is a buildingprocess.”

Bass played basketball at North Pike. This is his first headcoaching job. He had served as an assistant at Hattiesburg for afew years.

Bass will teach junior high social studies and drug and safetyeducation. He replaces Ricky Gray who moved to Parklane after twoseasons at Enterprise.

Smith-Magee is the new assistant girls basketball coach, workingwith Jill Nations. Magee will also coach the junior high.

“I have some knowledgeable girls coaches who know the game ofbasketball,” said Eubanks.

Magee starred for West Lincoln, Copiah-Lincoln Community Collegeand Mississippi College before concluding her basketball playingcareer.

Asked about Lofton, Eubanks said, “Coach Burns and I coached himat Loyd Star. I know the program Seth came from.”

Eubanks said the school’s improved athletic facilities are aplus for students in all sports. Burns serves as athleticdirector.

“We’ve had tremendous growth in our weight training program,”said Eubanks. “Our facilities have been improved.

Eubanks said the Enterprise community is growing. “We could be aClass 2A school in two years. Right now we play in one of thetoughest 1A divisions there is.”

In other changes, assistant football/baseball coach Brian Ebyhas taken an assistant baseball coaching position in McComb onChuck Freeman’s staff.

Baseball coach Chris Smith recently became assistant softballcoach at North Pike, leaving Enterprise after two years. The YellowJackets made the state baseball playoffs last season.

Veteran Steve Sasser will continued coaching the softball teams,slowpitch and fastpitch.

Lofton Knows Game

Lofton, 23, is a 2000 Loyd Star graduate. He played baseball atCo-Lin, two years and transferred to the University of WestAlabama, playing first base for the Tigers.

He played for Gary Rundles at West Alabama. The Tigers won theGulf South Conference Tournament and advanced to the regionaltournament at Cleveland, Miss. where Delta State avenged a loss tothe Tigers (45-19).

Lofton starred at linebacker for Loyd Star in 1999. The Hornetswent unbeaten (10-0) in regular season play and won first round ofthe state playoffs, finishing 11-1.

Lofton majored in math and secondary education. He will teachmath at Enterprise.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Lofton. “It’s good to be backhome.”

After five years of college, Lofton still cherishes the feelingthat surrounds high school football games in Mississippi on Fridaynights. “As far as playing goes, there wasn’t anything better thanFriday night football in high school.”

Lofton said he wants to improve the Enterprise baseballfacility. “I plan to do a lot of work on the field. I’ve beenworking three days a week with the summer weight program.”

Lofton said he was looking forward to coaching with Burns. “Heknows me and I know him real well. I couldn’t think of anybodybetter to learn under.”

His parents are Randall and Patricia Lofton of Loyd Star.