PREP NOTEBOOK: Mooreville wears pink to honor coach’s wife

Mooreville players – from left, Jordan Johnson, Peyton Boren and Landon Whitmon – honor assistant coach Greg May's wife, Ann, who's battling breast cancer. (Courtesy photo)

Mooreville players – from left, Jordan Johnson, Peyton Boren and Landon Whitmon – honor assistant coach Greg May’s wife, Ann, who’s battling breast cancer. (Courtesy photo)

By Gene Phelps

Daily Journal

Mooreville football coach Kevin Austin says his players always go “crazy with pink” each October – Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“This year we have a good reason to wear (pink),” Austin said.

Mooreville assistant coach Greg May’s wife, Ann, has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing treatment. To honor her in her fight, the Troopers are wearing bright pink “Team Ann” Nike Dry Fit shirts during pregame warmups this month.

The shirts, purchased with funds collected from Mooreville High School and Middle School, Guntown Middle School – where Greg May taught – and the Mooreville community, are worn under their pads and jerseys during games.

Prior to last week’s home game against South Pontotoc, the team wore their pink shirts for the first time and presented Ann her shirt in a pregame ceremony at midfield. The cheerleaders are also wearing pink “Team Ann” T-shirts during games.

“We wanted to show support for Greg and Miss Ann,” Austin said. “This was a rallying point for us. We want them to know we’re thinking about them. There are a lot bigger things than football going on in the world.”

There has also been a team created in honor of Ann May that will participate in the Oct. 26 Komen North Mississippi Race for the Cure.

Hegwood credits team with season’s success

Josh Hegwood was hired late last spring to coach fast pitch softball at Tupelo High. He wasn’t prepared when the program’s slow pitch job came his way in late July.

Despite a late start, Hegwood has directed the Lady Wave to 11 wins and a Division 1-5A/6A championship and a berth in the state playoffs.

“I’ve had good senior leadership and have a group of girls committed to winning,” he said.

Tupelo plays its first-round playoff series Oct. 15 at home.

Wave golfer Buckley commits to Missouri

Tupelo High golfer Hayden Buckley, who finished third in last season’s Class 6A state golf tournament, has made a verbal commitment to Missouri.

Buckley helped lead the Golden Wave to its sixth consecutive state championship. Teammate Austin Rose, the 6A medalist, committed earlier to Mississippi State.

Short Shots

• Smithville’s first tournament in its new gym – scheduled for Nov. 16 – is a dandy. On the girls side, 2A finalist New Site plays 1A champion H.W. Byers while on the boys side, 1A champ Biggersville plays Aberdeen and Amory battles Blue Mountain.

• Tupelo’s 3-0 home loss Tuesday to Olive Branch in Class III, Division 1 volleyball likely knocked the Lady Wave out of the postseason chase. THS won the state championship in 2011 under coach Laurie Bishop.

• The MHSAA slow pitch softball playoffs are scheduled for Oct. 15, 19 and 22. All are one-day best-of-three series. The finals are scheduled for Oct. 26 at Freedom Ridge Park in Ridgeland. Smithville (1A), Hamilton (2A, now in 1A) and Corinth (4A) won state titles in 2012.