Wrath falls on football coach

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apparently, a handful of disgruntled but influential familiesare calling the shots at Enterprise Attendance Center. The latestvictim of their wrath is Enterprise head football coach WayneRogers.

Rogers, dedicated to the task of elevating an underachievingathletic program, was given the heave-ho on a Sunday afternoon.Enterprise principal Shannon Eubanks met with Rogers and told himof his decision five days before the Loyd Star game.

Basically, Rogers was removed from the head coachingresponsibilities, although he remained a figurehead on thesidelines. Assistant coaches called the plays and alignments: CassBrister on offense and Josh Garrett on defense. Will Pepper handledthe special teams.

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From the sidelines, Rogers relayed the offensive plays to theteam. His Fighting Yellow Jackets (3-6) took their lumps andabsorbed another setback. For the record, Enterprise is in itsthird year of membership in Region 6-2A and has yet to realize aregion win.

For Enterprise, moving up from Class 1A was a major challenge.Changing the 1A mentality is a much bigger issue. It’s a whole newballgame in all sports.

Rogers only had 30 minutes each day on the field to work withthe junior high football team and his help was limited. The wordridiculous doesn’t describe it. Basic fundamentals are taught andrepeated daily in junior high. These youngsters are the future ofthe varsity football program.

“I don’t know what I’ve done,” said Rogers. “I’m old school andI’ve made some choices that weren’t acceptable with somepeople.”

Certainly, football demands much from the coaches and theplayers. If a player skips practice, why should he be entitled toplay on Friday nights?

Last year, the Jackets struggled to a 1-9 record in Rogers’first season. In the offseason, he installed a disciplined anddemanding weightlifting and conditioning program. However, someprospects preferred to skip the regimen but they still wanted toplay ball when school started.

Asked about the football-coaching situation, Eubanks said, “It’sa personnel issue and I really don’t want to get into it.”

Eubanks said Rogers is the coach “until the end of the seasonand the athletic director until the end of the school year. Weevaluate teachers from year-to-year. He’s a good friend and anexcellent coach.”

Rogers was principal at Loyd Star for seven years beforestepping down in 2008. Eubanks had worked with him as a teacher atLoyd Star before becoming principal at Enterprise. After a briefretirement, Rogers was given an opportunity to coach football againand that attracted him to Enterprise.

For sure, Rogers is a loyal soldier, dedicated to the task ofimproving Enterprise athletics. He staunchly supported his coachesin other sports through some controversial situations last year. Healso promoted self-control and sportsmanship on the gridiron.

Apparently, the powers that be aren’t satisfied and feel theycan do better.

Professor Hoopla B.S. was wearing muck boots when he dropped offhis list of predictions Wednesday afternoon. Due to a rainyforecast, he also had a yellow poncho and umbrella available.

Last week Hoopla predicted the winners of 25 games and got 18right. Here’s a preview of this weekend’s games, starting with aThursday night special.

Enterprise at Madison St. Joe: Bruins are tougher to beat ontheir home turf, no matter how muddy the conditions. St. Joe24-14.

McComb at Brookhaven: This ancient rivalry could determine whichteam goes to the state playoffs in two weeks. Brookhaven 21-14.

Bowling Green at Brookhaven Academy: Buccaneers have had theupper hand in this series too long. It’s time for the Cougars toassert themselves. Brookhaven Academy 36-26.

Bogue Chitto at Salem: Bobcats are in a tailspin but it comes toa halt in Walthall County’s Mud Bowl. Bogue Chitto 18-12.

Loyd Star at Hinds AHS: High-flying Hornets need a win over theWardawgs to secure second place in the region race and claim a homefield advantage in the state playoffs. Loyd Star 27-19.

St. Aloysius at West Lincoln: The latest homecoming in LincolnCounty won’t have a happy ending for the Bears. St. Al 22-8.

Wesson at Puckett: Cobras have the knowledge and technique butthey don’t have enough venom to bring down the Wolves. Puckett30-12.

Port Gibson at Lawrence County: Region 7-4A champion Cougarsshowcase their underclassmen as they tune up for the stateplayoffs. Lawrence County 44-6.

Franklin County at Jefferson County: Bulldogs can’t afford aloss in Fayette if they want to host a state playoff game nextweek. Franklin County 21-14.

Hazlehurst at Amite County: Stunned by a home field loss toJefferson County, the Indians go on the warpath in Liberty.Hazlehurst 51-14.

In other area action, North Pike over South Pike 14-12, JacksonPrep over Parklane 31-21, Copiah Academy over Oak Forest 13-10 andColumbia over Crystal Springs 42-8.

After inspecting his rye grass plot, Hoopla reveals Saturday’swinners.

Ole Miss at Auburn: Riding a wave of confidence, the Rebels mustdodge an ambush on the Plains. Ole Miss 13-7.

Mississippi State at Kentucky: Bulldogs find out how difficultit is to win an SEC game on the road. Kentucky 24-14.

Southern Miss at Houston: Cougars outscore the Golden Eagles inan offensive show. Houston 39-32.

In other Magnolia State action, Grambling over Valley State38-10, Texas Southern over Alcorn State 28-14, Delta State overArkansas State 28-18, Mississippi College over Sewanee 31-16,Millsaps over Howard Payne 14-3 and Belhaven over Lambuth 27-17.Jackson State has an open date to work on its offense.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com