All four of our high schools in Coahoma County have experienced a tremendous amount of success — more than usual — during the 2018-19 school year.
Yes, the Coahoma County High School boys basketball team is coming off of back-to-back Class 2A state championships, but what’s unique is the success we are having across the board in all major sports.
Clarksdale High School advanced to the second round of the playoffs in football, Coahoma County and Lee Academy earned playoff sports, and Coahoma Early College High School won four games quadrupling its win total from the previous two years combined.
Basketball has been an even greater success.
The Lee Academy boys and girls both advanced to the north half of the state tournament under the direction of second-year head coach Michael Peckham.
The Coahoma County boys and girls are picking right up from where they left off under coach Derrick Moore. Both teams won their district, the district tournament and cruised through the first round of the playoffs. Moore has run the most consistent athletic program in the community in recent memory.
Coach Greg Wilson has the Clarksdale Lady Wildcats in the playoffs for the third straight year as they advanced past the first round. He took a program at the bottom of its division and made the team a contender year after year.
Coach Farrington Hill always has the Clarksdale Wildcats playing well at the right time. They have a tendency to start slow, but finish strong, which is a sign of having a good coach. Hill is preparing his team for when it matters most — the postseason — and the Wildcats are still alive the playoffs once again under his direction.
Coahoma Early College High School has first-year coaches for both the boys and girls. Both have shown their ability to build programs.
Isaac Morris led the Lady Tigers to a second-place finish in the district and a district tournament championship, while Corney George led the Tigers to a dominant playoff victory on Tuesday night when many people may have counted them out.
An argument could be made for any one of these basketball coaches to earn some type of coach of the year honor.
Now, we must continue to encourage our teams to perform at a high level.
We must support our athletes and attend games whenever possible.
The Lady Red Panthers will be playing at home at 7 p.m. Friday in the second round of the playoffs, while the Red Panthers will be at home at 7 p.m. Saturday. We need as many fans in the stands as possible cheering them on.
We may be Wildcats, Colts, Red Panthers or Tigers, but we are Coahoma County residents first. We are neighbors, brothers, sisters and friends. We see each other in the store and pass by one another on a regular basis. We all live together and support one another for a common cause — our children and community.
So let’s remember that and cheer for each other.
It is very possible more than one team and/or school could be bringing home a state championship. Should we be fortunate enough for that to happen, there is enough room to support everyone involved.
As much as I would like some of our basketball teams to win, there is always a chance we will come home empty-handed. Even if our teams do not win titles, we should still remember their hard work, effort and determination our athletes put forth on a daily basis.
I want to see them win a championship because they work hard and deserve that reward, but if they fall short, we should be every bit as proud of them.
I congratulate our four high school on their success up to this point and hope to see it continue.