By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Baldwyn coach Jason McKay wants to give his team something he already has. McKay has a pair of state championship rings from his playing days with the Bearcats.
McKay has the current Bearcats in the Class 2A state championship game for the third time in four years, but the team is still looking for the first title since he helped Baldwyn to its last two in 1986 and 1987 as a point guard.
David Dill coached both of those squads.
Dill had a team of bigs, while the current Baldwyn boys team (30-3) is more guard/forward-oriented.
Baldwyn got past Williams-Sullivan behind 14 points from senior guard Tevin Lindsey Friday in the state semifinals.
“Jason doesn’t have height compared to those teams, but of course, the little quick man is sometimes better, but we had some big quick men, too,” Dill said, then laughed.
Dill recalled having 6-foot-5, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-1 players along with talented guards. McKay, Travis Grice, Tim Jumper and Kelvin Price were on both title teams.
Baldwyn football coach Michael Gray, Stan Scott, Barry Prather, John Price and Art Washington all got one of the rings.
“We had experienced ball players,” Dill said. “Jason’s got the same advantage, several who can play, not just the starting five. In Jackson, you never know how deep you’ll have to go on your bench.”
Dill rode with the team to the semifinals against Williams-Sullivan last week but a previous engagement will have him watching at home tonight as the Bear-cats face Bassfield at 8:30.
Dill said he finds it tough to stop coaching, even from the sidelines. He said Baldwyn will have to avoid turnovers and and continue its solid free throw shooting to beat Bassfield’s sizeable lineup.
“There are things Coach Dill did for us you carry with you for the rest of your life,” McKay said. “Having him around means a tremendous amount to us.”