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Young enjoys special campaign

Lane Young grew up in a basketball family and he has seen hisshare of good teams and partisan crowds. This season’s West Lincolnboys team was exceptional and so were the crowds who packed JackCase Gymnasium to see the Bears perform.

Young, 35 directed his team to a near-perfect season as theyfinished 28-1. His Bears fell 77-71 to Dexter in the South State 1Asemifinals, just one win shy of reaching the state tournament forthe first time since 1996.

For his efforts, Young has been selected The DAILY LEADER’s LincolnCounty Boys Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2010-11campaign.

“We had a great year but we didn’t finish like we wanted to,” saidYoung. “Dexter played the best they have played all year. We playedhard, too. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Tears fell like rain on that fateful night in Jack Case Gymnasium.As the season progressed and the Bears kept winning, crowds grew tonear record numbers.

“We had great fan support,” said Young. “I saw people that I hadnever seen before at our games this year.”

Basketball tradition runs deep at West Lincoln. Former WLbasketball coach Jack Case coached the Bears to back-to-back statetitles in 1981-82. The Lady Bears won a state title in 1957.

Young said this season’s team was exceptional. “We had goodchemistry and the kids enjoyed playing together. They were as truea team as I’ve ever had.”

As a team, the Bears averaged 75.1 points per game.

Asked about pressure to win, Young said, “We have a lot oftradition at West Lincoln, going way back. The expectations are forus to win but for the most part, the idea is to work hard and playhard.”

Young is in his ninth year at the helm. Lincoln County MVP Jay Caseand guard Calvin Kees are graduating, along with seniors MauriceJackson, Logan King and Troy Allred.

Three starters will be returning: guards Jared Case and De Priceand center Lucas Burris return to the starting lineup. “We havesome good younger players coming up,” said Young.

He coaches the girls and the boys. His Lady Bears were statesemifinalists last season. His assistant coach is Jeff King.

Young is a 1994 Wesson graduate. He attended Copiah-LincolnCommunity College and Southern Miss where he graduated in 1999 witha degree in human performance, with emphasis on physicaleducation.

In 2002, Young obtained a Masters degree in secondary educationfrom William Carey University. He teaches environmental science andgeology at West Lincoln, plus two physical education classes. Healso works as an assistant coach in slowpitch softball andbaseball.

Young is married to the former Audrey Monroe of Brookhaven and theyare the parents of a 5-year-old daughter, Mailey Kate. They areFirst Baptist Church members.