2022 Daily Leader All-Area Softball Coach of the Year is Flowers

Published 8:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2022

Becky Flowers, Brookhaven Academy

Fastpitch softball became a varsity sport at Brookhaven Academy around 2003. A committed group of parents served as coaches and boosters from that formation, but for years the school was known more for success in the game of slow-pitch softball.

Fast forward to 2014 when Becky Flowers was hired to lead and grow the program. A mother of three boys, Flowers didn’t have a daughter on the team, but she had coaching experience in the world of fastpitch.

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Flowers nurtured a program that came into full bloom during the 2021-2022 school year. In October, her squad ended a dominating season with a MAIS 5A state title and a 32-6-1 record.

For her leadership on and off the field, Flowers has been named the 2022 Daily Leader All-Area Coach of the Year.

One of the milestones for the Brookhaven Academy program was adding an on-campus softball field, as the team practiced and played games at the Hansel King Sports Complex for many years.

A washed-out gulley between the football field and baseball field was filled in with dirt and flattened to make the BA softball field and room for the football team to have a practice field in 2012.

When then-athletic director Casey Edwards was looking for a new softball coach to replace Kaylin Lofton, a rising senior named Drake Flowers, the oldest son of Becky and her husband David, let him know that there was a candidate available close by.

“I was working for Paul Jackson Construction, but Drake knew I wanted to get back into coaching on the side,” said Flowers. “Coach Edwards got a text from him saying, ‘My momma helped start the softball program at Belhaven and she’s the coach you’re looking for.’”

Then Becky Howard, Flowers was a standout basketball and softball player while prepping at Bogue Chitto.

She went to the school known as Belhaven College at that time to be an assistant coach for women’s basketball coach David Boteler. Boteler recently retired after coaching tennis at Mississippi College for the last 25 years.

When Flowers went to sign her contract as an assistant basketball coach, the president of the school asked if she’d also be interested in starting a fastpitch team.

“This was on June 30 and I signed 10 girls by August 1,” said Flowers. “Our first game was against Delta State, an established program led by Barry Brickman at that time. We beat them 2-1 and I told our AD that I was ready to retire on top after that one game.”

In the early and mid 90s, no one was playing fastpitch on the high school level. Flowers was forced to recruit out of recreation leagues for players that were familiar with the game.

“I got a couple girls from Forest Hill that had played rec. league there and that’s where we played our home games, at Forest Hill High School in south Jackson,” said Flowers. “I got some kids off a team in Houma, Louisiana too. I didn’t stay at Belhaven long, the program that was paying my salary outside of coaching got cut, but that was the start of me realizing how much I loved being around kids that loved the game like I do.”

Flowers grew up in a house with five brothers and she gives some credit to them for making athletics and competition a huge part of her childhood.

Drake Flowers is the head girls’ basketball coach at Copiah County and an assistant coach for the Co-Lin softball team. Her middle son Dawson had a standout season a relief pitcher in 2022 at Northwestern State University and her youngest, Drake, just graduated from Brookhaven Academy.

The closure of her youngest child graduating high school and her eighth team at the school bringing home a state championship — it just made sense for Flowers to go out on top as she’s now turned the program over to her former assistant and longtime area coach Lisa Covington.

Standing on a field filled with celebration in October, Flowers broke down her coaching philosophy while “We Are the Champions” blared from the speakers atop the press box after the Cougars clinched their title with a win over Silliman Institute.

“I tell them it’s all about the letter ‘h’ for us if I’m going to be successful at my job,” said Flowers. “The we honor God in everything that we do, that we heed to His instructions and that we humble ourselves and play the game.”