Wolverton nearing 800th win
JUST WATCHING Leake's Doyle Wolverton seeks his 800th win as a high school coach tonight when Leake hosts NCA. Photo by Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
By Marty Stamper/staff writer
Jan. 22, 2002
MADDEN Whenever the Leake Academy girls win their next basketball game, it will put Rebelettes' coach Doyle Wolverton in a very elite club.
He will join Robert Hooker and Lucy Seaberry as the only three girls' basketball coaches with 800 career victories in Mississippi. Both Hooker and Seaberry have retired.
Hooker finished a career that spanned from 1958-88 with stops at Thaxton, Ingomar, Randolph, and South Pontotoc with record of 861-181, easily the highest girls' win total in the state.
Seaberry retired last year after 33 years at Cleveland East Side with a record of 809-182.
Wolverton's first shot at No. 800 comes tonight when the Rebelettes host Newton County Academy at 6 p.m. Odds are in his favor as he has never lost to the Lady Generals in 27 seasons at LA.
Wolverton has just one losing season as his third team went 12-17 in 1977-78.
The Terrors are a group of fourth through sixth graders that perform ballhandling skills at halftime of the high school games.
Wolverton's 84.3 percent winning percentage outranks both Hooker (82.6) and Seaberry (81.6). With his two leading scorers for most of the year being sophomore Kristin Caldwell (17 ppg) and junior Laurin Gross (11 ppg), Seaberry's second-place standing is ripe for the picking. Greggina Tadlock (13 ppg), an eighth grader averaging 13 points since being brought up for the high school team the last week in December, gives Wolverton a realistic shot at overtaking Hooker as well.
His 27 years include an active string of 19 consecutive seasons with a minimum of 25 wins. Two more wins this year would extend that mark to 20. The Rebelettes have six regular season games remaining.
His 1998-99 team went 46-0 and won the gold medal in the State Games of Mississippi during the summer of 1998, beating five public schools by an average of 20.8 points. He was The Meridian Star's Coach of the Year for 1999.
Even more impressive was a seven-year run from 1983-90 that saw the Rebelettes win 234 games while losing only 12. Visiting teams needn't plan on winning at LA. From 1982-90 the Rebelettes did not lose a single home game.
Under Wolverton's leadership, the Leake girls have won four Academy Overall championships, eight state championships, and 16 district championships. They were Overall runners-up four times and state runners-up on two occasions. You won't find any of the six district runner-up trophies in the school's trophy case.
His junior high teams have actually had better numbers than the high school girls, going 412-49 for a 89.4 winning percentage.