Maroon Tide honor coaches by naming facilities after them

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Picayune’s football stadium now displays their new name on the back of the press box and on the scoreboard.

“If it weren’t for the name on the right, there would be no name on the left,” Coach Dodd Lee said. Picayune’s football stadium now displays their new name on the back of the press box and on the scoreboard.

When naming a stadium or court, the idea is to leave a legacy that gives future generations motivation to strive for success and continue the traditions the program has built throughout its history.

Recently, Picayune Memorial High School recognized current and previous coaches by adding their name to their respective sporting facility in which they coached.

The Picayune Memorial High School basketball court inside the Kelly Wise Gym has been updated to the Ladner/Shaw Court—in recognition of Dean Shaw’s achievements coaching the program. 

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“I am so humbled and touched from this amazing honor,” Shaw said. “At a time like this, I can’t help but think about the great players and the great people like assistant coaches, supporters, teachers, student body, high school administration and the community that supported this basketball program. This program wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for them.”

Shaw graduated from Mississippi College with a degree in physical education in 1983 and achieved a master’s degree at William Carey University in 1993.

In his 21 years of coaching at Picayune, Shaw led the Maroon Tide to 11 district championships, four South State Championships and the 1996 Girls State Championship at Harrison Central. He had an overall record of 552-169. He led the historic 2001-2002 season when the Maroon Tide went 36-2—the most wins in school history for a single baskeball season.

From 2000 to 2003, the Maroon Tide had a 99-8 record.

“I have always felt blessed and fortunate to be coach at Picayune Memorial High School because in my eyes, it was the best basketball coaching job in the state. I would not have traded it for any other job,” Shaw said.

Shaw said that throughout his coaching career at Picayune, he never once had a problem with any parents, which “says a lot about the homes these players come from and how much of a blessing it was to coach groups of kids like that.”

An additional name was added to the Triplett Football Stadium in honor of the current Maroon Tide Head Football Coach Dodd Lee—becoming the Lee/Triplett Football Stadium.

Lee graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in 1975 and went on to the University of Southern Mississippi. He currently holds an overall record of 228-88 with eight district championships and two south state championships. He also led two prestigious teams to become state champions in 2011 and 2013.

“This is a true honor. It was something I wasn’t expecting. Having my name up there with Coach Triplett means a lot to me. He set the tone for me and a lot of what I do stems from him,” Lee said. “If it weren’t for the name on the right, there wouldn’t be a name on the left.”

Calvin Triplett graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in 1942. He accumulated an overall record of 235-81-4, and 52-24 at Picayune.

Triplett led the Maroon Tide to their first 5-A state championship in 1986, which cemented his place in the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame.

Picayune’s baseball and softball fields did not have official names, but that has changed.

The softball field was officially named in honor of Picayune graduate and current Picayune Memorial High Assistant Principal Kristi Mitchell. She is also head softball coach for the Maroon Tide.

“At first I thought they were joking and for the first time in my life I was speechless,” Mitchell said.

After graduating from USM with a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership, she set her eyes on coaching for the Maroon Tide. With 12 district championships, four South State Championships—2004, 2005, 2010 and 2011—and an overall record of 434-267 throughout her 21 years of coaching the Lady Tide, she was selected to coach the Mississippi Association of Coaches South Slow Pitch All Star team in 2006 and the 2013 Gulf Coast West All Star team.

“This field is my home away from home,” Mitchell said. “I pretty much watched it grow from the ground up so for them to think of me when wanting to name the field is such an honor. There were so many people that had a part in this and the honor is too much to put in words.”

When the baseball field was built in 1992, it didn’t have an official name, but it was locally known as “The Field of Dreams,” Mitchell said. Now, the name and legacy of the Picayune Memorial High School baseball field is in honor of the former coach and current Picayune Memorial High School Principal Kent Kirkland.

“I am awfully proud and thrilled to death about this because it recognizes all the kids and the hard work we went through to find the success we did on that field,” Kirkland said.

That success includes five district championships, three consecutive South State Championships and becoming state champions in 2002.

In that season, the Maroon Tide was ranked No. 1 in Mississippi and No. 5 nationally, according to USA Today. They were No. 6 on a national poll by Baseball America.

The contributions by these individuals will inspire students now and in the future.