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Milton guides BA Cougars to 11-2 record

Bo Milton has a Pike County pedigree when it comes to football.He’s making a name for himself in Lincoln County, too, directingthe Brookhaven Academy Cougars to the District 6-AA championshipand an 11-2 record.

For his accomplishments, Milton has been selected The DAILYLEADER’s 2006 Coach of the Year on the All-Lincoln County FootballTeam.

“Its a great honor,” said Milton. “I give all the credit to ourkids and coaching staff. I’m thankful I was hired and have had thisopportunity.”

Milton said community support for the football program has beenexceptional. “The support has been great. Most of the road trips,we had as many or more (fans) than the home team. We couldn’t askfor anything more.”

He serves as director of student activities at BA, basically,high school principal. Dr. Miller Hammill serves as the school’sheadmaster.

Milton, 36, a Pike County native, grew up in Summit. Hegraduated from Parklane Academy in McComb, earning all-conferencehonors at offensive tackle for the Pioneers. He played for Parklanelegend Charlie Newlon.

After Parklane, Milton Played football two years at SouthwestMississippi Community College for Coach Larry Kinslow, earning moreall-conference honors. He then transferred to Northwestern (La.)State University, working in the offensive line for head coach SamGoodwin.

Milton obtained a degree in general studies at Northwestern. Heis currently pursuing a master’s degree at NSU on-line.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at NSU,coaching tight ends. He coached two years at Copiah Academy as anassistant, working for Jay Swindle, a former BA coach.

After Copiah, Milton went to MRA as junior high coach. He thenmoved to Tri-County Academy in Flora, serving as head coach fornine years.

His first BA edition advanced to the South State semifinals,losing to Vicksburg Porters Chapel.

“I was really pleased with how the year went,” said Milton. “Ourkids and my assistant coaches deserve all the credit.”

Working as assistant coaches were Stephen Cooksey, defense; andBarry Gray, offense.

Milton coached the offensive line and “called most of theplays.”

Directing BA’s offense was senior quarterback Price Sessums, atalented runner and thrower who was named Mr. Football In LincolnCounty for a second consecutive year. It was an adjustment forcoaches and players as Milton installed his style of offense anddefense.

“Our kids came a long way in a short period of time,” saidMilton. “They worked really hard to understand what we were tryingto do.”

He was hired in February. Several football players were onCooksey’s state playoff baseball team.

“Our offseason program really didn’t get started until summer,”said Milton. “Our kids started in June.”

Milton said he had high goals for the Cougars. “We had hopes tomake it to the playoffs. We were excited to win district and winthe most games in school history. We were disappointed we didn’tmake it all the way.”

Milton said the Cougars were blessed with senior leadership

“We lose 13 seniors,” said Milton. “Eight or nine started forus.”

Looking ahead, Milton said the future looks promising. “Ourninth grade was 6-1 and they are moving up. Numbers-wise, we shouldbe pretty close to last year. We will be competitive.”

Under the Mississippi Private School Association’s new districtalignment, BA moves back to District 4-AA. The district foes areColumbia Academy, Copiah Academy, Prentiss Christian School andnewcomer Simpson County Academy.

“The last four state champions are in our district next season,”Milton pointed out. Simpson won three straight state titles andCopiah is the latest Class AA state champion.

Milton said he has intelligent students. “Price had a 24 on theACT. The kids are pretty well rounded in academics andathletics.”

He maintains a flexible coaching philosophy. “We have to adjustour offense to the personnel available. Last season we ran a lotmore spread and shotgun because of Price Sessums.

“We want to score one more point than our opponents in everygame.”

Milton said he believes in an aggressive defense. “We use eithera four or five-man front. We want to be an attacking defense. Wewant to be physical on both sides of the football.”

Like all successful high school football programs, the Cougarsstay busy in the offseason lifting weights and running agilitydrills.

“We are two and half weeks into our offseason program,” saidMilton. “We have great participation.

“We encourage kids to play other sports but we want them liftingweights, too.”

Milton and his wife, Shonda, have been married 12 years. Theyhave two daughters, Georgia Lee, age 8; and Mary Jordan, age 4.

They are members of Brookhaven First Baptist Church.

In his spare time, Milton likes outdoor hobbies. He enjoys golfand hunting. “We take one family vacation a year.”