Great memories for Brookhaven city schools

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

Looking back after a complete school year of the 2013-14 season for Brookhaven High and Brookhaven Academy, there were plenty of highs and a few lows during each sports campaign.

Over the next few days, The Daily Leader will recap local and area schools’ highs and a few lows in each sports during the teams’ school year. Today’s article recaps the two Brookhaven teams.

Brookhaven and Brookhaven Academy both experienced tough years, and each team faced new division opponents in their march toward the playoffs

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Brookhaven: In slowpitch softball, the Lady Panthers finished perfect in the region race with a 10-0 record and entered the playoffs before being eliminated in the first round by Meridian.

In football, the Ole Brook Panthers started off strong, going 4-0 to kick off the season, before hitting three speed bumps in a row, falling to 4-3. The Panthers managed to regroup and make the playoffs as the fourth seed.

In the playoffs, Ole Brook made a strong statement as they knocked off Pascagoula 28-20 in the opening round before losing to Laurel in the second round at home.

In basketball, the boys’ team had a great year, finishing No. 1 in their division race but losing to Wingfield in the championship game at Wingfield. The Panthers advanced to the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round by Laurel.

The Lady Panthers fought through a rebuilding year to finished third in their region race. The girls’ ball club advanced past the first round of the regional tournament before falling in the semifinals.

In soccer, the girls and boys squads had a rough season but still managed to make the playoffs.

In the track and field events, the Panthers and Lady Panthers made history as they fought hard all season long to make the state championship contest as a team.

In tennis, the girls and boys netters had a great year as they battled through some tough competition to make the playoffs. The Panther netters advanced to south state championship but fell to Stone County in the team event. The entire Ole Brook netter team still advanced to the state championship in individual events.

In baseball, Coach Randy Spring’s ball club experienced a roller coaster season, but managed to finish strong at the end to clinch the No. 2 seed in division action and make the playoffs. The Panthers battled Pascagoula in the opening round and managed to push the series to a decisive third game before being eliminated.

In fastpitch softball, the Lady Panthers also experienced a tough season, but managed to secure the wins they needed to make the playoffs but were eliminated in the opening round by Pascagoula in game three. After the end of the season, the girls softball coach Chad Walker announced that he was stepping down as head coach to spend time with his family.

Brookhaven Academy: In fastpitch softball, the Lady Cougars set and achieved their goals by making the playoffs after a two-year absence. The Lady Cougars finished the season 11-16, 5-3 in district play and were 1-2 in south state action.

In football, the Cougars experienced a rebuilding year after winning the state championship a year ago. The Cougars worked hard to overcome the odds and made some huge improvements over the season to make the playoffs.

After the season, the Cougars experienced a coaching change as their former football coach Tripp McCarty elected to leave for a new head coaching position at Pillow Academy. During the spring, Brookhaven Academy hired Blake Purvis as their new football.

In soccer, the girls and boys teams had a good year overall as three players members were selected for the all-star team.

In basketball, BA experienced a whole new coaches’ reign in John R. Gray Gymnasium.

Coach Mack Gardner revamped the girls’ team and helped lead the Lady Cougars far into the playoffs.

Coach Kyle Ray took over the boys basketball program and helped guide the Cougars’ high-octane offense into the playoffs. Both teams finished in the final four of the state tournament.

In baseball, Coach Casey Edwards’ ball club got off to an slow start but managed to get things going after spring break to make a big run in the playoffs as they won their district crown and made it to the second round of the MAIS State AA playoffs.

In tennis, Coach David Misner’s tennis team had a good season as both ladies’ doubles teams won state championship gold.