Despite losing 10 seniors, WA ready for 2002
By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 3, 2001
CLINTON Disappointment and some tears were on the faces of the Wayne Academy Jaguars following their tough 14-7 loss to Trinity Episcopal here Saturday at Mississippi College's Robinson-Hale Stadium.
The Jaguars, who finished 12-2, took home the second place trophy for the Mississippi Private School Association's Academy A class. Wayne was bidding for its third state championship in four years. They had won the Class A title in 1998 and 1999.
Judging by the comments of head coach Tom Boszor, watch for the Jaguars to contend again in 2002.
Wayne will have several holes to fill as 10 seniors depart. They include all-everything and MPSA All-Star Cory Cochran, quarterback Steven Wood, tight end/kicker Jaret Duvall, defensive fire-plug Colby Pitts, wingback Jacob Ferguson, wide receiver Barrett Tynes, linemen Lucas Little, Matt Riley and Daniel Jordan.
Cochran was all over the place on Saturday trying to lead a Wayne comeback from a 14-0 deficit. He scored the team's lone touchdown on a 10-yard run, a score that was set up by his 24-yard halfback pass to Tynes.
Cochran, who will return to Robinson-Hale this Friday for the MPSA All-Star game, rushed for 40 yards, caught 5 passes for 49 yards and passed for another 24.
The good news for the Jaguars is that they will return running back Matt Brown. He led the team in rushing on Saturday with 47 yards and was a top performer all season on both sides of the ball.
Junior linebacker Brandon McDonald, who caught the game-winning touchdown last week in a 14-7 win over DeSoto School, will be a defensive leader in 2002.
Then there is the offensive line where four of the five starters should return. Center Derek Brown, guard Bubba Bunch, and tackle Chris Bunch are all juniors. Tackle Kyle Davis (5-11, 220) is just a sophomore.
Add to that three young players in Patton Stanley, Jared Crane and Garet James who saw time on defense either in the secondary or on offense at wide receiver, and the cup appears brimming for 2002.
Trinity star back Chad Ridley thinks Wayne will be heard from again.
For senior Colby Pitts, another run at the title will require heart.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.