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Flippin enjoys succes at S. Pike

MAGNOLIA — South Pike head girls coach Marcus Flippin has hadsome good teams during his six years as Lady Eagles head basketballcoach. This year’s team outperformed the others. They won the Class3A state basketball tournament championship.

Under Flippin’s direction, the Lady Eagles took their fastbreak,hot shooting and tough defense all the way to a state title.

For his accomplishments, Flippin has been named The DAILYLEADER’S Coach of the Year on the 2007 All-Area Girls BasketballTeam.

“I appreciate it” said the 48-year old Flippin. “It wouldn’thave happened if we hadn’t gone to state. The girls did all thework.”

Flippin took over as girls head coach when former head coachFreda Craft took the job at Hazlehurst. Last spring, Craft took thehead coaching position at Brookhaven and was named Lincoln CountyCoach of the Year this year.

“I became head coach when she (Craft) went to Hazlehurst,” saidFlippin who spent 2 years as an assistant to Craft.

When asked if he learned anything from Coach Craft, Flippinlaughed. “I leaned you don’t have to take it easy on girls. Youpush them hard. She taught me it is OK to push them.”

Flippin said Craft learned something from him. ” It is OK tocall a time out.”

Flippin believes the family unity of this team made themspecial.

“We are like a family,” said Flippin. “We get along. They allhelp one another. I yell at them. That helps to motivate them. Theyhelp each other out and they get on to each other.”

When asked about the style of his team, Flippin said “They likerun and shoot. They shoot a lot.

“We’re going to push the ball up the court,” explained Flippin.”And trap on defense. There are no limits on who can shoot. Itgives the kids confidence. Anybody on this team has the green lightto shoot.”

Flippin also plays all 11 players on the team. Each player hasstarted a game 3 of 4 times during the season. Everyone on thebench has had floor experience.

“We play an 11-person rotation,” said Flippin. “Every one ofthem has started four or more games this year. We have plenty ofbackup on the bench.”

Offseason training has helped the Lady Eagles. The girls hit theweight room and the steps on the large hill outside the gym tobuild up their leg muscles and strength. It has paid off.

Flippin credited assistant coach Janice Felder with the team’ssuccess.

“Janice works with the post girls,” said Flippin. “She alsoworks with the 7th and 8th grade girls. They are all learning ourprogram. Janice has won three state titles and was a KodakAll-American at Southern Miss.”

Flippin talked about the championship game with Senatobia.

“Senatobia was strong,” said Flippin. “They had the heightadvantage. A good 6-footer and a 5-11. The had a 1-2 punch.

Flippin was born and raised in Franklin, Kentucky. He is agraduate of Franklin Superior High School where he playedbasketball and football. In football, he started at center andplayed linebacker. In basketball, he was a guard.

After high school, Flipping went into the Army for the next sixyears. When he got out, he returned to Kentucky to attend WesternKentucky where he spent the next five years working on hisbachelors degree in secondary education with emphasis in socialstudies and journalism.

Flippin briefly worked for a newspaper in Kentucky before he gotinto coaching.

“I worked at three different high schools before coming here,”explained Flippin. “I coached at my alma mater for five years. Thenanother school as assistant football coach and basketballcoach.”

Flippin has taught several subjects at South Pike. “I teachgovernment, economics and psychology.”

Flippin’s teams have had mostly good years.

“My first year here, we went to state,” said Flippin. “We were30-5. The second year, we went to state and were 28-5. The thirdyear we went to South State and were 20-10. The fourth year, wewere 10-20. The fifth year, we were 15-15.”

There is one thing Flippin wants his girls to get out of playingbasketball for him. A good work ethic.

“Nothing come easy,” said Flippin. “You have to earn respect andshow respect. There is no such thing as luck. It’s preparation andopportunity.”

His Lady Eagles hold a 3.2 grade point average in the classroom.

“I thank the fans and coaches for their support,” addedFlippin.