Agent leaves Poplarville

Published 6:17 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jimmy Agent defeated quite a few opponents at the helm of the Poplarville High baseball team last season.

The one foe he couldn’t overcome, however, was the pain at the pump.

Agent resigned recently as the Hornets head coach to become assistant head coach at Hattiesburg High School under Joe Hartfield.

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Poplarville head coach John Miller said that J.J. Fortune has been selected as the new Poplarville baseball coach.

“We hated to lose coach Agent, he did a fine job last year,” Miller said. “But we feel like we have a very good coach to replace him in coach Fortune.”

Agent guided the Hornets to a 20-11 record and a second place finish in Region 8-4A in his only year at the helm of the Hornets. Poplarville advanced to the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs for the first time in school history, before falling to West Jones in the South State semifinals.

“I just had an opportunity come up that I felt like I couldn’t turn down,” Agent added. “It all came down to more money and less travel for me. I live in Hattiesburg, and with the raise I got to go to Hattiesburg and then not having to drive back and forth with gas prices the way they are, it was just the better situation for me and my family.

“But it was a very tough decision for me. There are some great kids down there in Poplarville and I will miss them. I went back and forth on my decision for a month before making up my mind. It was tough to leave the school.”

Agent was a longtime assistant at Oak Grove High, just outside of Hattiesburg, before taking over last year. He continued to leave in Hattiesburg, however.

“I have known coach Hartfield for a long time, and I knew we could work well together,” Agent added. “I’ll be a head coach again one day, and I will always be thankful to coach Miller and the administration there at Poplarville for giving me my first chance to do that.”

Fortune becomes the fourth Poplarville head baseball coach in less than two years, and the fifth in four seasons.

“He played some minor league baseball and has some coaching experience,” Miller said, of Fortune. “We are glad to have him and we look forward to next season.”