Lafayette’s run through the Class 4A playoffs that ultimately led to a spot in the North Half title series was made possible through a total team effort. That much was evident by the way the Commodores played through the last half of the season. But as unified as the team was, the player that got them to that point and really made the team believe that good things were going to happen was senior pitcher/infielder Luke Stanley. (more…) (June 6, 2012, Page 1B)
Leadership is a quality that all coaches, at any level and in any sport, hope to get from a few key players each season. It’s an intangible that helps a team define the path to victory as well as deal with the agony of defeat.
Oxford coach Drew Tyler knows a Most Valuable Player candidate when he sees one. After having 13 consecutive players who have won the EAGLE’s top boys basketball award over the years, Tyler has gained a great perspective as to what an individual has to do to obtain such recognition.
For 6-foot-2 OHS junior guard Justin Fondren, the recipe for success that ultimately allowed him to earn the 2011 EAGLE Player of Year award was his ability to do everything well. As Tyler explains it, Fondren is his best athlete, his best basketball player and best student all rolled into one. (April 20, 2011, Page 1B)
A team-first approach to winning basketball games turned out to be very successful for the Oxford Lady Chargers and junior point guard Erika Sisk this season. Not only did OHS win 24 games and advance to the Class 5A North Half tournament under coach Shayne Linzy in his second season, the 5-foot-4 Sisk was able to show her all-around skills better than she has before.
Sisk not only set up her teammates during games, but she was a driving force behind the Lady Chargers’ offense. She led the area with averaging 22.0 points per game and then added to that outstanding scoring ledger by dishing out 4.8 assists and grabbing 3.9 rebounds per game.
This season’s EAGLE All-Area football team was released in Thursday’s sports section. Unfortunately for me, space prevented me from writing a column that would appear next to the story on the back page.
So instead of it appearing on Thursday, I thought sharing my opinion on this year’s team was important.
For those who may have missed the players who made the team, Lafayette junior running back Demarkus Dennis was named Player of the Year, while another 11 Commodores who helped the school win the Class 4A state title made the first-team squad. Three other LHS players were named honorable mention.
Oxford had seven players on this year’s team, while Water Valley had five. Both the Chargers and Blue Devils each had three players receive honorable mention status. (December 17, 2010, Page 6A)