District titles set tone for area prep sports programs in 2000

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 1, 2001

New Year’s is a time of reflection on the year that was and a look ahead at the year to be.

Area coaches had several high points in 2000, but few had as many fond memories as Huntington’s Michael McAnally, who helped lead the Lady Hounds to the school’s first-ever fast-pitch softball state title in his first year as head coach.

&uot;With all the success Huntington’s had in slow-pitch softball, I know they were hoping it would carry over into fast-pitch,&uot; he said. &uot;I know this is something they’ll never forget. It’s a big deal for Huntington.&uot;

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Another high point for the Hounds this season was the success of the football team under another first-year coach, Gerald Reeves. Huntington made the playoffs for the first time since 1993, &uot;and a win over Trinity’s always nice,&uot; McAnally added.

In fact, with the success of Ferriday High School’s football team, which made it to the 2A quarterfinals before being edged by Farmerville, &uot;the town of Ferriday has a lot to be proud of.&uot;

Ferriday girls basketball coach Lisa Abron agreed, noting Ferriday’s win over Vidalia in football as a major event for the school.

&uot;We got it back this year,&uot; she said of the heated rivalry.

Defeating Vidalia to win the Vikings’ tournament in basketball this season was another bonus, Abron said.

&uot;There’s always a battle between us,&uot; she said. &uot;That was definitely the highlight of 2000 for me.&uot;

A lowlight, then, would have to be Vidalia returning the favor and winning Ferriday’s tournament a week later.

But Vidalia football coach Dee Faircloth noted the success of the Vikings’ baseball, softball and girls basketball teams as the bright spots of 2000 for him.

&uot;The softball team won district and ended up with a record of 24-3,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s pretty good.&uot;

The baseball team advanced to the state playoffs, he added, and standout Jarrett Hoffpauir earned a scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi for his efforts as a junior.

Natchez High School fans will probably have fond memories of the boys basketball team’s fast start this year and the softball team’s fourth-straight district title, according to softball coach Sue Johnson.

&uot;We also beat Cathedral,&uot; she added. &uot;We haven’t done that in a while. I know the girls enjoyed that.&uot;

Cathedral’s softball team made the playoffs despite the loss to Natchez, one of three successful Green Wave teams, according to soccer coach Rocky Kettering.

&uot;We did well in soccer,&uot; he said, &uot;winning our district for the first time and hosting a playoff game.&uot;

He also noted the success of the golf team, which also earned a district title.

District titles were the high points of Trinity’s basketball seasons, said girls coach Melanie Hall.

&uot;The girls made the state tournament for the first time in 20 years,&uot; she said. &uot;And the boys won back-to-back district titles. They had to overcome a 19-point deficit in the first half to win the game.&uot;

Speaking of comebacks, Adams County Christian School coach Paul Hayles said the Rebels’ playoff appearance after an 0-5 start was the most important event for AC in 2000.

Beyond that, though, his memory was a little fuzzy.

&uot;It’s not very often that you look behind,&uot; he said. &uot;You usually look ahead.&uot;