By James Beasley
Softball, football, basketball, and baseball are the sports most people follow at Copiah Academy, but student-athletes also enjoy participating in other sports – including tennis, track and field, soccer, and golf.
Tennis coach Alison Beach has established a winning tradition at Copiah Academy that is the envy of many schools. That’s why this spring’s losing record, the first in her 15-year tenure, was an apparent aberration. “We were young, and had a lot of beginners who had never played,” Beach said in a recent phone interview. “But we had fun and ended the season on a roll.”
The mixed doubles composed of Courtney Beach and Devin Harper were runners-up to Jackson Prep at South State and then finished third at State. The #1 girls’ doubles consisting of Mary Landrum Pyron and younger sister Elizabeth Pyron won all their regular season matches and then finished second at South State and third at State.
Other members of the tennis team included #1 boys’ singles, Gray Williams; #2 boys’ singles, Barry Blackwell; #1 boys’ doubles, Jared Ganucheau and Adam Pitts; #2 boys’ doubles, Jake Risher and Bryce Berry; #1 girls’ singles, Logan Berry; #2 girls’ singles, Hannah Moak; and #2 girls’ doubles, Kaylie Carpenter and Lindsey Walker.
Members of the B-team included Jennifer Lea, Taylor Tillery, Elizabeth McPhail, Anna Walker, Stu Monk, Nathan Ganucheau, Kirk Wright, and D. J. Thornton.
Track and Field
Copiah Academy track and field participation was down in numbers this spring, but several individuals had notable performances. According to boys’ coach Phillip Ducomb, the biggest highlight of the varsity season was junior sprinter Kelton Smith winning the 100-meter dash at South State with a time of 10.90.
Other varsity members of the boys’ track team included juniors Devin Harper, who ran the 4 x 100 relay and the 200-meter dash, and also participated in the high jump; Adam Pitts, a 4 x 100 relay runner; Peyton Whitehead, a relay runner and sprinter; Barry Blackwell, long jumper; Michael Bagley, who did the triple jump and ran the 100-meter hurdles; and Smith, a sprinter and relay runner who also participated in the 200-meter dash.
Ducomb also mentioned 9th-grader Justin Edwards, who placed fifth in the shotput and discus, respectively, at the JV District Meet.
In girls’ track, Coach Ben Gardner only had two participants, but they both had noteworthy accomplishments. In varsity action, sophomore Carleigh Roberts finished third in the shot put at the South State meet. Meanwhile, 8th-grader Jordan Jones placed fourth in the 100-meter dash at the JV District Meet. She also ran the 400-meter run during the year.
Though they failed to win a game, the Copiah Academy soccer team under head coach Phillip Ducomb put forth a determined effort in every game. Senior Trice Titus and junior Sam Walters were named to the All-Division AAA team.
Meanwhile CA, under Coach Sally Garland, had its first girls’ soccer team in several years. Previously Copiah fielded co-ed teams that participated against all-boy teams. Several individual members of the girls’ team were recognized at the recent Athletic Awards Ceremony in Gallman.
According to head coach Jane Henley, the highlight of the golf season was the fact that the team, despite its youth, qualified for State. Players included Billy Henley, John Parker Campbell, Will Smith, Jason Snyder, Sam Stevens, Michael Nunnery Alex Thornton, Nathan Deaton, and Jonathan Morris. Several were recognized at the Athletic Awards Ceremony.
By James Beasley