Catching up with former Co-Lin stars

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 7, 2010

Catching up with some former Co-Lin basketball players who aremaking a mark in senior colleges.

We can start with NJCAA All-American guard Trent Hutchin,Co-Lin’s standout shooter from last season. The Baton Rouge productaveraged 22 points per game and led the nation in free throwpercentage as the Wolfpack finished runner-up in the statetournament.

Hutchin moved on to Southeastern Louisiana University where heis averaging 12 points per game for the Hammond-based Lions. He isa Woodlawn High School graduate.

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Former battery mate Rob Wallace of New Orleans was anotherCo-Lin guard who could light it up from downtown last season. He’splaying for the Belhaven University Blazers and is averaging 12.9ppg.

Two years removed from Co-Lin and still going strong is 6-8forward Greg Truvillion. The Lansing, Mich., product averages 19.8points and 10.9 rebounds for Union (Tenn.) University.

The basketball honor roll continues as Alisha Mason ofEnterprise, Corissa Tillman of Crystal Springs and YashundaWilliams of Hazlehurst play for William Carey University inHattiesburg. Mason was a recent Gulf Coast Conference Player of theWeek.

Anthony Wilcher of Franklin County plays for the Carey men’steam that is under the direction of Steve Knight.

Other former Co-Lin players who are active at the senior collegelevel are Shalenia Wilcher of Franklin County at Tougaloo Collegeand Lawanski Newsome of Mendenhall at Mississippi College.

For sure, junior college players have a large list of seniorprograms to pick from, if they do well at the juco level.

Brookhaven’s Twin Towers, a.k.a. Nikki Byrd and Swayze Black,are in their sophomore campaigns at Ole Miss and LSU respectively.Both young ladies are doing well.

Byrd, a 6-foot-4 post player, is averaging 7.1 points and 4.1rebounds per game for the Lady Rebels who are 10-5 overall and 1-1in the SEC.

Byrd, an electrical engineering major, had a season-high 12rebounds in an 87-38 blowout of Centenary College on Dec. 29.

Her full name is Na’Corean Saprecious Byrd. She is he daughterof Irene Byrd.

Coach Renee Ladner’s Lady Rebels beat Alabama 70-56 Wednesdaynight in Oxford. Byrd outscored her cousin, backup center CourtneyStrauthers of Alabama 4-2 in the victory. The Crimson Tide slippedto 8-7 and 0-2 with the loss.

Black, a 6-3 post player, has helped the LSU Lady Tigers to a13-1 record and No. 11 national ranking. Their only loss was atNebraska last month. They play at Arkansas tonight, weatherpermitting.

Black claimed a career-high 13 rebounds in a season-opening92-19 waltz past Centenary. Currently, she’s averaging 3.0 pointsand 4.9 rebounds for Coach Van Chancellor’s squad. She is abusiness major.

Black is the daughter of Willie and Dorothy Black. She has foursiblings in Maceo, Pashen, Dana and Carlin.

A schedule for the West Lincoln Youth Baseball Coaches Clinic isshaping up. According to West Lincoln coach Steve Barrington, theclinic will go three nights, Jan. 18, 19 and 21, starting at 6 p.m.each day. Area high school and community college coaches will sharetheir knowledge with youth coaches, most of them fathers ofyoungsters involved in the spring/summer program.

According to Barrington, four coaches per night will speak onvarious aspects of the game. Each coach will speak about 40minutes. Then there will be a question and answer session. Plansare to hold it in the school library.

Basic fundamentals and teaching technique will be explored indepth. Lights snacks will be available, probably peanuts andcrackerjacks.

Shiver me timbers!

According to the Mississippi High School Activities Association,the first official high school baseball practice is Feb. 8. Coachesare allowed to practice during school hours. The last Saturday(Feb. 27) of February is the official opening date. Some teams willparticipate in jamborees on Feb. 20.

Former Lawrence County coach Ricky Sykes called Wednesday andshared some Ole Miss football trivia worth noting. The Rebels claimthe rare distinction of beating three national champions. LSU wasawarded the national title by The Associated Press after beatingthe Rebels 7-3 on Billy Cannon’s electrifying punt return in the1959 game.

Ole Miss responded with a 21-0 trouncing of the Tigers in theNew Year’s Day Sugar Bowl rematch and the Rebels were rated No. 1in three ratings systems at that time.

It was Sept. 17, 1977, when the Rebels ambushed Notre Dame 20-13in Jackson’s sweat-soaked Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.Led by quarterback Joe Montana, the Fighting Irish regrouped andbeat Texas for the national title in the Cotton Bowl.

In 2008, Ole Miss upset Florida 31-30 on Sept. 27, inGainesville. The Gators, directed by Tim Tebow, bounced back andwon the national championship.

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