Loy resurrects Franklin County baseball pride

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

BUDE — Restoring Franklin County’s winning tradition inbaseball was one of Jeremy Loy’s goals this season. He proudly madeit a reality.

Loy’s Diamond Dawgs finished an amazing season 24-7, winning theDistrict 7-3A title and advancing past the first round of the Class3A baseball playoffs for the first time since 1998. They wereeliminated by Sumrall, the eventual state champion.

For those accomplishments Loy has been recognized as The DAILYLEADER’S 2008 All-Area Coach of the Year.

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“It’s a great honor being named All-Area Coach of the Year,”said the 30-year old Loy. “We had a great season this year. I wasvery proud to be a part of it.”

Loy, a Natchez native made the 32-mile drive from his residenceto Franklin County High School a daily one, serving as an assistantin football and head baseball coach.

“I loved being around these kids,” said Loy, who resigned fromFCHS last month. “We won a lot of games here. It was a lot offun.”

During his two seasons as the Diamond Dawgs head coach, FranklinCounty went a combined 40-15. The Bulldogs fashioned a pair ofhistoric school winning streaks during his tenure, a 13-gamewinning streak in 2007 and a 10-game winning streak thisseason.

“Our seniors and our underclassmen stepped up this season forus,” added Loy. “The last time we won district was in 2002, so atthe beginning of the year we made that one of our goals.”

Franklin County went 12-0 inside the division, sweeping rivalNorth Pike for the first time since 2002 along the way. TheBulldogs beat Greene County and Morton in the playoffs, beforefalling to state champion Sumrall in the third round. It was thefirst time since 1990 that the Bulldogs played a baseball game pastMay 1.

A product of Loy’s winning desire, was staying aggresive on thebase paths this season. The Bulldogs stole 65 bases as a team. FCalso turned their ballpark ‘The Swamp’ into a Death Valley of sortsfor visiting opponents. FC sported a 23-6 home record the last twoseasons, including a 4-0 mark in home playoff games.

Loy said his coaching staff of Brent Calcote and Brad Mullinswas a big plus for him and the program. All three spent hours afterpractice maintaining the field and keeping the indoor hittingfacility in tip-top condition for the players to use.

“We made sure everyone of our guys took cuts and threw,” saidLoy. “Having that indoor facility helped us on days the weather wasbad.”

A 1996 Trinity Episcopal High graduate, Loy moved to Mississippiin the summer of 1994 from Leander, Texas. He served as headbaseball coach at Trinity in 2001 and 2002 after graduating fromMississippi State University.

Loy and his wife Sarah have two children, Will, age 3, and Macy,10 months. They are members of Parkway Baptist Church inNatchez.