from staff reports
March 25, 2004
The Laurel Tornadoes have officially started the search for a new head football coach. Laurel is trying to fill the position of Buddy Duke, who left Laurel for the head coaching job at Hattiesburg in early February.
Several names that have surfaced for the job include: Quitman assistant coach Randy Martin, West Jones assistant coach Bud Blackledge, Bay Springs head coach Cecil Hicks, and Laurel assistant coaches Luke Leggett, Chris Gale, and Milton Smith.
Martin is a former assistant football coach at Laurel and won a state championship at Laurel in 1990 and reportedly interviewed for the job on Monday.
Other names that have been mentioned in the search also include: Johnny Ainsworth, coach of the Class 3A state champion Greene County Wildcats and Lance Mancuso, coach of the Class 2A state champion Seminary Bulldogs.
Ainsworth was reported to have shown interest in the job and has submitted his resume. According to school officials the position may be filled by mid-April.
Who do you trust?
During Tuesday's game against Forest, West Lauderdale third baseman Caleb Dulaney laid down a bunt late in the game. Dulaney was called out when the field umpire ruled the ball hit him in the stomach.
Knights head coach Jerry Boatner instantly questioned the call, and as Dulaney trotted back to the West Lauderdale dugout, Boatner asked his third baseman, "Did it hit you?"
Boatner then turned his attention to the umpire who delivered the verdict a moment earlier.
West Lauderdale went on to win the game 7-5.
Panthers eye playoff spot
With six Division 5-4A games left to play, the Quitman Panthers are hoping to make a run for at playoff position. The Panthers stand at 3-3 in the standings and have won two of their last three division games.
Quitman, now 7-8 for the season, has won three of its last four games. Wins have come over Northeast Jones 17-3, Mendenhall 13-1, and Wayne County 13-4. The loss came to Florence last Friday, 11-7.
The Panthers have a big division game at West Jones Friday, and then play two games on the road Saturday, taking on Southeast Lauderdale, starting at noon and 2 p.m.; and at West Lauderdale, starting at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Generals set for key
The Newton County Academy Generals have two big division games coming up that are key to their playoff hopes.
The Generals, 12-2 overall and 5-2 in the division, dropped a disappointing 10-6 decision at Kemper Academy Tuesday night. The Generals have two losses in the Academy Central 1A Division. They will host division foe Sylva-Bay today, and then visit Heidelberg Academy on Tuesday. The Rebels handed Newton Academy its only other division loss so far this season.
Those players swinging the bat well in recent games include Sam Thames, Lee Blackburn, Morgan Craven, Blake Hedrick and Tommy Harthcock. Sam Thames had a 4-0 record at the start of the week and Harthcock was 3-1.