’06 Great year for area football teams

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cleaning out the 2006 sports folder.

For sure, it was a great year for area football teams. FranklinCounty’s Bulldogs marched to their first Class 3A statechampionship, finishing 14-1 under head coach GradyMcCluskey. Copiah Academy’s Colonels won the hard wayafter a runners-up finish to Brookhaven Academy in the District6-AA race. The Colonels, coached by MitchMitchell, ran off four straight playoff road victories toclaim the AA crown.

Talk about football success, and you can’t overlook the BACougars. Coach Bo Milton’s team posted the mostwins (11) in school history and made it to the South Statesemifinals before losing to Vicksburg Porters Chapel.

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In neighboring Natchez, the Trinity Episcopal Saints won theMPSA Class A state title. That’s three teams from southwestMississippi bringing home a title trophy.

At Copiah-Lincoln Community College, the Wolfpack made aremarkable turnaround after a 1-8 record in 2005. They howled to a9-3 mark, winning the South Division title and losing by 1 point,21-20, to Pearl River, in the state championship game.

Coach Glenn Davis got his Co-Lin squad back ontrack. They were invited to the Golden Isles Bowl Classic inBrunswick, Ga., and defeated Georgia Military School 21-0 on Dec.2. It was the first shutout in the bowl’s 12-year history.

Co-Lin finished with a No. 6 national ranking.

Backing up a little bit, the Bogue Chitto Lady ‘Cats madeanother spirited run at the Class 1A state slowpitch softballchampionship in late October. Unfortunately, Coach ScottLeggett’s girls were bridesmaids for a third straightyear, falling to Ingomar in the title test.

The Lady ‘Cats also made a bid for the fastpitch crown lastspring, falling in the South State finals to East Webster.

Still on softball, the Co-Lin Lady Wolves made history lastspring, winning the state/regional crowns and advancing to theNJCAA National Tournament in Normal, Ill. Coach AllenKent’s team placed third.

Still on the diamond, Lawrence County’s Cougars made animpressive run for Coach Cory Keyes in the Class4A state playoffs. They lost a marathon best-of-three series toPetal in the South State finals.

Brookhaven Academy’s Cougars made a strong showing on thediamond, too. Coached by StephenCooksey, the Cougars won the district title andadvanced to the state AA playoffs.

Last summer Brookhaven’s Dixie Boys 14-year-old all-star team,under the direction of Terry Britt, won the statetournament and advanced to the World Series in Grand Prairie,Texas.

A strong basketball tradition continued last February as CoachDale Watts directed his Brookhaven Academy Cougarsto the Class AA state tournament title. They advanced to the finalsof the MPSA Overall Tournament.

Brookhaven’s Lady Panthers made their first appearance in theClass 4A State Basketball Tournament in nine years, making it asuccessful farewell tour for Coach BillyHolmes.

In tennis, Brookhaven Academy recorded a rare sweep, winning thegirls and boys team titles in Class AA. AlanTaylor coached the Cougars and Lady Cougars to themilestone.

Also in tennis, a group of Super Seniors women advanced to theUSTA Team Championships in Palm Springs, Calif., and finishedsecond.

In golf, Perry Katherine Furr andWarren Hood of Wesson were recognized among thebest junior golfers in the Magnolia State. They were honored by theMississippi Junior Golf Association as Players of the Year.

Cheerleaders also are important to athletic teams. TheBrookhaven cheerleaders were crowned state champions among smallClass 4A schools. Lauren Grady of BHS wasrecognized as best cheerleader.

You can’t overlook Brookhaven’s award-winning band. The BHSgroup is considered among the best in Mississippi.

Certainly, athletes, cheerleaders and band members work overtimeperfecting their skills. Extracurricular activities demand manyextra hours of practice. They all should be thanked andcongratulated for their efforts. Remember to encourage all of themin 2007.

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