Lanier's Billups gets number five
From staff reports
March 12, 2002
Lanier coach Thomas Billups won his fifth state championship in 11 seasons with the Bulldogs with Saturday night's 77-73 victory over Picayune in the Class 4A finals. Billups played football at East Central Junior College during Ken Pouncey's time as head coach. Billups is the father of Newton boys' and girls' coach Crandal Porter.
One small step
Picayune's Maroon Tide reached the state championship game for the first time since 1969, but lost 77-73 to Lanier in the Class 4A finals. The last time the Maroon Tide reached the state finals, astronaut Neil Armstrong was doing the original moonwalk.
Going out in style
New Albany girls' coach Chuck Poer wrapped up his coaching career with a 74-55 win over West Lauderdale for the Class 3A state championship Saturday afternoon. Poer will take a job in administration in the New Albany school system. Poer had previous stops at Oak Hill Academy and Marshall Academy. While at Marshall, Poer won the MPSA AAA state championship in 1997.
St. Stanislaus hires Wittman
St. Stanislaus has named Casey Wittman its new head football coach. Wittman replaces Dave Kenson, who resigned last month after leading the Rock-a-chaws for five years. St. Stanislaus went 2-8 in 2001.
Wittman is a 1984 graduate of St. Stanislaus. He later played at Gulf Coast Community College. He comes to SSC after a two-year stint as offensive coordinator at Pass Christian. This will be his first head coaching job. Wittman was selected from 17 applicants.
Russell chosen at Biloxi
David Russell has been selected to replace Mike Battles as head football coach at Biloxi.
Among those Russell beat out for the job are Gulfport coach Ronnie Cuevas, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College assistant Mike Gavin, former Biloxi coach Larry Weems, and Hattiesburg assistant Tom Ferrill. "I'm looking forward to the challenge of coaching in Class 5A," Russell said. "Biloxi is a program that's ready to explode." Russell comes to Biloxi from D'Iberville where he was 40-21 in five seasons including a 12-2 mark in 2001. Biloxi competes with Moss Point, Gulfport, Harrison Central, Ocean Springs, St. Martin, and Long Beach in Region 4-5A.
Moore chosen at Ridgeland
New Ridgeland High School has selected well-traveled veteran Lynn Moore as its head football coach. Moore comes to Ridgeland, which is scheduled to open this fall, from Itawamba AHS. Moore also coached at West Point and Louisville in the 1990s and has had other stops at Taylorsville, Leakesville, Aberdeen, and Harrison in Mississippi. He also coached in Louisiana for eight years and has a 164-122-1 career record. Ridgeland will play as a Class 4A independent in 2002 before being assigned to a region in 2003. Moore has been at Itawamba AHS the last four years.
Belmont's Deaton calls it quits
After just three seasons, Belmont girls' basketball coach Heather Deaton has resigned.
Deaton, 27, was 89-29 in her three years and won the Class 2A state championship in 2001 with a 38-2 record.
This year's team went 24-9, but did not advance from the 2A North State Tournament.
Deaton should know as she played at Belmont, graduating in 1993.