Natchez native Ware going for state title
NATCHEZ — Natchez native Reggie Ware will be going for an unprecedented fifth-straight, Alabama State Championship when he leads his Midfield Lady Patriots onto the floor of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Friday in Birmingham, Ala.
Ware, a former Natchez high stand out, coached his team to a semi-final blowout of Good Hope Wednesday.
“We are blessed to get this win today,” Ware said.
“We are a young team, with a majority of eighth and ninth graders, and it has been up and down a little bit this year. But, we managed to fight and listen and believe in each other.”
Midfield will take on Brewbaker Tech for the state championship.
“They are a great team,” Ware said about his upcoming opponent.
“It is just one more obstacle we have to go through.”
Midfield will take a 21-13 record into the state championship game, with five of their losses coming against bigger schools in Alabama.
“We are in (Class) 4A, and we go up to 6A in Alabama, and five of our losses came against 5A and 6A teams,” Ware said.
“We played one of the toughest schedules in the state.”
That tough schedule helped Midfield prepare for the challenge of winning the state tournament, Ware said.
Not only is Ware racking up wins and championships at Midfield, he is also winning prestigious coaching awards.
The Alabama Sports Writers Association named Ware the 2010 4A State Coach of the Year. He also recently received news that the National Federation of High Schools would name him the 2011 National Coach of the Year, he said.
Ware was an All-State performer under coach Mike Martin at Natchez and led the Bulldogs to the state playoffs every season, including one trip to the final four, he said.
He then went on to star at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and later became a starter for the Samford Bulldogs.
While in school, Ware got his bachelor’s degree at Samford and his master’s degree in administration at Alabama State. Ware worked as a counselor, teacher and assistant principal before he settled into his role as girl’s basketball coach.
Soon after he earned his degree, he came back to Natchez to mentor some of the kids in his hometown.
“I just tried to tell them no matter what your circumstances, where you grow up or where you live you still have a chance to make it,” Ware said. “You can be successful if you give it all you got.”
Ware still visits his hometown to see his parents Reo and Doris Maynard and his grandmother Daisy Green when he gets a chance, he said.