Rutland enjoys great campaign

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, March 27, 2011

MONTICELLO – Coach Vicki Rutland and her Lawrence County LadyCougars accomplished an amazing season by making their first tripto the Mississippi Coliseum in 30 years.

The Lady Cougars finished the season with a 26-9 record butcaptured the Region 7-4A crown and South 4A girls title on theirhistoric march to the State Tournament in Jackson.

Rutland grew up in a sports-minded family and stated that shecaught the coaching bug from her father, who has coached highschool teams in football, basketball and baseball. She said thather mother and brother had coaching stints as well.

Rutland has seen and coached several good teams in her coachingcareer. She has coached at Lumberton, West Marion and NortheastJones. She has coached several types of sports: track, tennis,softball, and boys and girls basketball.

At Lawrence County, she watched her Lady Cougar go through anamazing season and saw the community support grow in great numbersas they packed Lawrence County Gymnasium and other gyms to see theLady Cougars perform.

Rutland directed her team to the State 4A girls finals, but fellshort of claiming the gold. Her Lady Cougars fell 71-61 to NewAlbany in the State 4A championship.

For her efforts, Rutland has been selected The DAILY LEADER’sAll-Area Girls Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2010-11campaign.

Asked about what she likes best about coaching at LCHS, Rutlandstated ” I love the unconditional support displayed for girlsbasketball from the administration, faculty, staff, parents andcommunity. Lawrence County is a special place that loves theirbasketball and is devoted to come and give their support,especially when we were in the Coliseum.

“But most of all, I love the players past and present,” continuedRutland. “It is like I have three boys and a bunch of daughters.They have worked hard to build this program and they deserve thecredit for our success. Coaches are only as good as theirplayers.”

The basketball tradition runs deep at Lawrence County. Former LCboys basketball coach Bobby Lee coached the Cougars to back-to-backstate titles in 1991-92 and again in 1995.

Coach Rutland commented on the administrative support, “Theadministration has really embraced our team. Superintendent TonyDavis, Principal Dr. Daryl Scoggin and Athletic Director Mike Davisworked diligently to secure the bids to host the district and southstate tournaments.

“They also helped out with the dirty work, so I can concentrate onthe games,” stated Rutland. “It is not often that you will see thefootball coach mop the gym floor or the principal grilling steaksfor the hospitality room.”

Rutland is in her 7th year at the helm. Starters Tyra Griffin andAlli Harris are graduating, along with seniors Keandra Tucker,Dalphne Armstrong and Danielle Lewis.

Three starters will return: All-Area Girls MVP Tiaria Griffin, MaryMargaret McLaurin, Taylor Brister return to the starting lineup.”We have a good nucleus returning and we are eager to make a returntrip to Jackson,” said Rutland.

Coach Rutland’s assistant coach is Roberta Johnson, a former LCHSplayer.

Rutland is a 1987 Forest Hill graduate. She attended and graduatedwith a bachelor’s degree from Delta State in 1992. She has earned amasters degree from Southern Miss in 2000.

She teaches Government, Economics and World Geography at LawrenceCounty.

Rutland is happily married to her husband, Rusty, and they are theparents of three boys: John and Lane, who are 13-year-old twins andJoe Lee, who is 9 years old.