Local Area schools enjoy success

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Looking back after one complete school year of the 2013-14 season for our neighboring county schools: Wesson, Lawrence County and Franklin County. There were plenty of highs and a few lows during each sports campaign.

Wesson enter into the season swimming in new waters after moving up into a different classification. The Cobras competed in Region 7-3A against schools like Hazlehurst, Franklin County, Wilkinson County, Crystal Springs and Jefferson County but did a good job adjusting to the elements and competed.

Franklin County and Lawrence County also had a great year in every sport as they had faced new/old opponents in their divisions.

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Wesson:  In football, the Cobras experienced a very tough and competitive region but managed to fight through the season to capture their first win with an offensive 55-53 shootout victory over Crystal Springs. After looking at the Wesson during their spring training the Cobras look ready to compete in the fall.

In slowpitch softball, the Lady Cobras had a good year advancing to the playoffs, before being eliminated in the second round.

In basketball, the girls and boys teams were under the guidance of Coach Rusty Newman. Both teams competed really well in a tough district but struggle to advance past the regional tournament.

In baseball, Coach Seth Lofton’s ball club had a great season overall, after riding a rebuilding roller coaster. The Cobras won the division crown in their first year in the Region 7-3A ranks. Wesson earned an opening round bye in the playoffs before being knock out in the second round.

In fastpitch softball, the Lady Cobras experience a great year, under the leadership of Jackie Johnson. Johnson’s team finished with a 14-7-1 season and made the first round of the playoffs in a rebuilding season. Coach Johnson announced that she was stepping down as the softball coach as she is expecting to have twins really soon.

In tennis, Coach Rod Martin took back over the reigns after a two-year absence and the Cobra netters get to the playoffs. The Cobras advance to the third round of the playoffs as a team. In individual contests, Wesson had several tennis players representing in state competition.

Lawrence County:  In slowpitch and fastpitch softball, Coach Howard’s team continues to improve. Both squads made a great run during the season and in the playoffs.

In football, the Cougars experienced another rebuilding year, but made some big improvements as they finished the season 4-7 compared to 1-10 in 2012.

Lawrence County experienced a coaching change as former coach Herbert Davis left to take the head coach job at Madison-Ridgeland Academy. Later during the spring break, LCHS hired Jaymie Palmer as their new head football coach.

In basketball, the Girls and Boys teams provided some excitement in Monticello. Coach Rutland’s girls’ team faced a rebuilding year but made some noise during the season. Coach Pat Bridges’ boys ball club, made a huge improvement in the second half of the season to advance to the playoffs and made it to the second round of the South State tournament in McComb.

In baseball, Coach Keyes diamond ball club, went through a rebuilding year, but made some improvements during the season for next year. After the season, Coach Corey Keyes elected to step down as the head baseball coach.

Lawrence County did managed to add another State Championship trophy to their collection as the archery team captured their second straight title.

Franklin County:  In football, the Bulldogs got a shaky start to begin their season, due to their new coach James Nowell was forced to resign just weeks prior to the start of the season. The veteran and former Franklin alumni Coach Chris Calcote step in as the interim coach to help the Bulldogs get back on track. The Bulldogs struggle in the first half of the season but managed to come together for the region race and made the playoffs. After the season, in December, the Franklin County Faculty hired on Anthony Hart as their new head football coach. Hart left Franklin County for Lafayette County, 9 years ago, but now he’s returning to ‘Bulldog Country’

In the slowpitch and fastpitch softball seasons, the Lady Dawgs managed to find their rhythm late in the season and make the playoffs. Just prior to the end of the school year, Coach Dana Smith elected to step away as the head coach of softball.

In the basketball, Coach Ricky O’Quinn experience his first season as the new head coach of the girls and boys basketball team. The boys and girls basketball teams experience a rebuilding year, but the Lady Dawgs managed to overcome the slow start to make the playoffs.

In baseball action, Franklin County had a great year and made some noise in the regular season and the playoffs.

Franklin County saw the archery team capture their second straight state championship. The Bulldogs added another State Championship to its resume, but this time in the sport of fishing. Connor Quin and Bryce White took top honors at the Mississippi State High School Fishing State Championship at the Ross Barnett Reservoir.