By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
Many consider it the un-official start to the beginning of yet another year of prep sports.
The 58th annual Mississippi Association of Coaches All Sports Clinic got underway Wednesday here at the Hilton Hotel in the state's Capital City. The three day event attracts over 500 prep coaches from all types of sports from across the state for the three day event.
And once again, not only is the list of notable speakers for the clinic littered with big names in the coaching world, but it also has a local flavor.
Pearl River Community College head softball coach Leigh White is one of the featured speakers, as well as Bassfield head football coach Lance Mancuso. Mancuso is a Pearl River County native that was a former head coach at Poplarville as well. His Bassfield team won the state Class 2A championship this past season. Both coaches will speak today, as Mancuso will talk about punt blocks and kick returns Thursday morning, and White will cover getting practice started, having a plan for that practice and hitting drills this morning.
The event actually got underway on Monday, with a pair of golf tournaments earlier in the week.
On Wednesday, the first day of the actual clinic, featured speakers in the football portion of the affair included Jackson State head coach Rick Comegy and Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson as along with new Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz. Skip Holtz is the son of Lou Holtz.
Also speaking on Wednesday were a pair of prep head coaches that local football fans are familiar with in Pascagoula's Lewis Sims and Starkville's Jamie Mitchell. Pascagoula knocked off both Picayune and Pearl River Central in the Class 5A South State playoffs last season, en route to the state championship game where they lost to MItchell's Yellow Jacket team. Two seasons ago, Picayune defeated Starkville in the 5A state title contest.
New Southern Mississippi head football coach Todd Monken will be one of the key note speakers today, as will Gulf Coast Community College head football coach Steve Campbell. Campbell's Bulldogs have been ranked as the number one team in the nation in the pre-season juco polls.
Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mulen will speak on Friday to wrap up the event.
Basketball coaches will hear from new Jackson State head coach Wayne Brent and former Mississippi state head coach Richard Williams over the course of the clinic. Delta State head coach Mike Kinnison is the featured speaker on the baseball agenda.
The ninth annual MAC All-Star Volleyball Match took place Wednesday night at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton, while the annual MAC All-Star Tennis Games will take place this afternoon at Parham-Bridges Tennis Club here in Jackson.