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Natchez High retains Kossum as baseball coach

NATCHEZ — It was the news Brian Kossum waited for all summer: The Natchez High School interim head baseball coach was retained and officially became full-time head coach.

Kossum, who led the Bulldogs to a 6-14 record and a playoff berth this past spring, said he received word earlier this week that he was notified by the Natchez-Adams School Board that he would be coming back. Assistant coach Roderic Smith was also retained.

“I’m pretty excited,” Kossum said. “I’ve been looking forward to the coming year. I feel a lot better having a year under my belt. I’ve gotten to know the guys and their capabilities.”

Kossum said he expected to be retained, though there was always that small, lingering worry after having to wait an entire summer before finding out for sure.

“I didn’t think it was bad news (not knowing), but you always wonder,” Kossum said. “When there’s uncertainty, it can leave you apprehensive, but I came in here feeling like I was the right guy for the job. I feel like we did the best we could last year, as far as the work ethic myself and coach Smith put in.”

Kossum was named interim head baseball coach after former coach Skip Golding left last winter. At the time, Kossum and Smith were both assistants, and when Kossum was named interim head coach, he was told the position would remain unfilled, leaving just himself and Smith to coach the team.

“When you’re running a program, especially in 5A, it’s nice to have as much help as possible,” Kossum said. “Myself and coach Smith can manage the baseball part, and we’re lucky to have parents and booster club supporters that help take care of the rest.”

Looking ahead to next season, NHS will have to replace four seniors, and Kossum said there are just one senior and one junior on the team right now.

“We’re young, extremely young, but at the same time, those young guys have already played varsity,” Kossum said. “Everyone (but the two upperclassmen) will be with me the next three to four years.”