Lafayette hires John Sherman to coach Lady ‘Dores
One of the most experienced and accomplished basketball head coaches in the state of Mississippi will be leading Lafayette High’s Lady Commodores next season. Gary “Chick” Drewrey, hired Monday evening as Lafayette Athletics Director by the school board, wasted little time recommending John Sherman to take over for the recently departed Amy Sutton. The hire was 5-0.
Sherman, who helped guide Myrtle to 2003 Class 1A state championship, has 32 years of coaching experience. He comes to Lafayette after spending the last seven years as head coach of the Water Valley Blue Devils.
“This is an opportunity to coach in the town that I have lived for the last 29 years. Of those 29 years, 16 of those years, I’ve driven 30 minutes to work one way and back. This gives me an opportunity to coach at a well established school, established athletic program and to take on a new challenge and coach girls basketball again,” Sherman said about his decision to come to LHS.
Sherman has worked alongside Drewrey before at Water Valley. Drewrey hired him to turn around the Blue Devils, which he did, leading them to their first appearance in the 3A North Half tournament two years ago. Sherman said his defensive-minded approach would be a staple for the Lady Commodores, who won 117 games under the guidance of Sutton.
“I try to coach the girls just like I coach the guys. It’s just coaching basketball. Now, you do have to handle them a little bit different, but I’m going to coach just like I’ve always coached. I would like to think I coach the fundamentals of the game. I would like to think over the years that my reputation is that of being a defensive coach that incorporates good man-to-man defense and with the right athletes to be able to do that with. That’s what I’ll be looking to do at Lafayette,” Sherman said. “They’ve obviously had a successful girls program over the years going back as long as I’ve been in Oxford. Here lately with Coach Sutton they’ve enjoyed a lot of success and been to the state tournament. It’s been a very competitive program and I look to step in and continue that solid foundation. I hope that I can come in and maintain that and hope that I can add my personal touch to that.”
Sherman last coached girls at Myrtle High from 1998-2003. His third year there, Myrtle got to the state championship game, the first of three straight appearances in the title game. During those three years, Sherman’s teams compiled a 103-8 overall record and an undefeated mark in division play. Arminite Herrington, formerly Arminite Price, was the leader of those Myrtle teams.
“The two losses hurt more than the win does,” Sherman said. “But it was great to finally have gotten one our last year. We had a pro on that team, but she couldn’t have done it alone.
Sherman also led the OHS boys to its first state title, in basketball and also the school, in 1987. Prior to coaching at Water Valley, Sherman was an assistant coach at South Panola. He was also an assistant coach to Richard Williams, the Bulldogs’ former head coach, for a season in the late 1990s.