Hardy, Henderson leave big shoes to fill in BHS sports

Published 5:00 am Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two familiar coaches on Brookhaven’s King Field sideline will beconspicuous by their absence next football season. Defensivecoordinator Rod Henderson and defensive backfield coach PatrickHardy have opted for positions in school administration. They leavebehind some large shoes to fill for BHS athletic director and headfootball coach Tucker Peavey.

“They are both excellent football coaches and good people, too,”said Peavey. “They both will be missed. Thankfully, they arestaying in our school system.”

Henderson and Hardy were an integral part of Ole Brook’s 2004Class 4A state championship coaching staff. Both are BHS graduateswho possess a wealth of football knowledge. Henderson was anoffensive lineman for Grambling State University and Hardy was areturn specialist at Ole Miss, majoring in track where he ran the100 and 200-meter dashes.

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Hardy, who also coaches the BHS track team, will continuecoaching the Panthers through the spring sports. Henderson alsowill assist with spring practice. Hardy has coached several statechampions in track, male and female.

One of my fondest memories of Henderson was several years agoduring an intense, BHS-South Pike football game at Magnolia. One ofhis defensive linemen had just scooped up a fumble and was headedfor the end zone. Henderson, in his excitement, lumbered along thesideline, shouting encouragement.


Walking the sideline, this 245-pound scribe was busily writingdown notes and looking for the exact yard line where the Pantherhad picked up the South Pike fumble. Out of the corner of my eye, alarge, ominous figure quickly approached. It was Henderson, all300-plus pounds of him, heading straight for me as he watched hisplayer near the goal line.

Luckily, he just grazed me. In fact, he never felt the minorfender-bender and continued down the sideline.


Fortunately, a serious collision was avoided. Otherwise, I wouldhave been pushing up daisies on Colee Field.

Henderson will assume the duties of assistant principal atAlexander Junior High and he’ll do a commendable job keeping thestudents in line. Hardy will be an assistant principal at BHS undernew head man Jay Smith. Hardy replaces John Ogden, a formerfootball player/coach who was known best for his powerful grip ofsteel, plus his kindness and concern for others.

Ogden’s son, Adam, a standout football and baseball player atBHS, is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq. KeepAdam in your prayers.

In other coaching news, former West Lincoln head football coachBrooks Burns is teaching physical education at Denham Junior Highin McComb. He is helping coach the McComb varsity defense underhead coach Randy Martin.

Burns has enrolled his three young sons in school at Enterprise.It gives them an opportunity to be closer to home.

West Lincoln principal Jason Case continues to be in the huntfor a new head football coach. He has interviewed severalprospects. In the meantime, WLHS assistant coaches Luke Addison andSteve Barrington are leading the Bears through spring drills whichbegan Monday.

At Enterprise, where head coach Roe Burns resigned due to healthreasons, assistant coaches Seth Lofton and Cass Brister aredirecting the Fighting Yellow Jackets through spring footballpractice. Over 50 players are participating.

Enterprise principal Shannon Eubanks is conducting interviewsfor the head football job. He wants a proven coach who will becomfortable in the rural community.

Eubanks also is seeking a boys basketball coach to replace JoshBass who resigned.

Congratulations to the Co-Lin Lady Wolves on winning the MACJCSouth Division softball championship. They go after bigger gametoday as the state tournament for community/junior colleges getsunder way at Clinton High School’s field. Hinds is the officialhost for the double-elimination affair.

Coach Allen Kent has done an outstanding job with the program.This year’s team has depth on the pitching staff and plenty ofoffensive power in the lineup. What they need are a couple of solidgames and little luck to bring home the state title.

Bogue Chitto’s Lady ‘Cats continue play in the MHSAA Class 1AState Fastpitch Softball playoffs today, visiting East Webster. Thesecond game of the best-of-three series South State championshipwill be played Saturday afternoon at Bogue Chitto.

Coach Scott Leggett has one of the best softball programs in theMagnolia State. His Lady ‘Cats won the state slowpitch crown lastOctober.

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