Daily Leader All-Area Basketball Coach of the Year: Bogue Chitto’s Marc Howard

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, April 13, 2024

Marc Howard, Bogue Chitto

The Bogue Chitto fan base is one that carries a passion with it once it fills up one side of a gym.

That’s not meant as disrespect to any of the other schools that are covered by this newspaper. They all travel, they all support their teams and they all can get crunk in a minute.

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The fans at BC just have some experience in following their Bobcats when they’re near the top of the heap in Mississippi small school basketball. They want to be the best again, because they remember how good the view looks from up there.

Under former coach Ronald Dale Gill, the Bogue Chitto girls’ basketball team ruled MHSAA 1A basketball and the boys’ team was always strong at that same time under the tutelage of coach Theo “Bo” Black.

Many of the players during that period during the 1980s and 1990s had family members that could remember when Bogue Chitto basketball had been a force under legendary coach Bob Calhoun a few generations before.

The tradition continued through coaches Mickey Myers and Christi Robinson, but there came a time when Bogue Chitto basketball required a reset and it almost seemed like the program needed to be led again by one of its own.

That happened when Marc Howard came home to lead the basketball programs. The coach of both the girls’ and boys’ teams, Howard led two teams that finished a combined 57-3 on the court in 2023-2024.

For that unforgettable season filled with victories, Howard has been named The Daily Leader All-Area Coach of the Year for both girls’ and boys’ basketball.

The Bogue Chitto faithful likely had this season circled as a payoff year as both teams returned virtually intact rosters from successful seasons last year.

The girls team needed to replace just one starter and boasted a Division I signee in senior center De’Mya Porter. The boys team made the final four of the MHSAA 2A tournament a season prior and had just two seniors that contributed on that team.

The season started with nothing but wins for the Bobcats and that kept repeating itself as the boys’ team lost a single regular season game and the girls’ team went into the postseason with an undefeated record.

The season for the girls’ team ended in the 2A quarterfinals as Bay Springs jumped out to a big early lead and never surrendered it in a 55-43 win.

The boys’ squad made it to the 2A finals, losing a tough, physical game 48-46 to Ingomar High.

It was bittersweet for the BC basketball fans that filled one side of the Mississippi Coliseum, to see their team so close to a championship, only to see it slip away in the final minutes.

As the players emerged from the locker room at the Big House, the Bogue Chitto fans cheered for each boy and consoled them with hugs and pats on the back.

And as they cheered for their head coach, they cheered for one of their own, which means a lot for a proud school and a community like Bogue Chitto.