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franklin county times

Quitman stays busy year round in athletics

By By Steve Swogetinsky / special to The Star
Aug. 4, 2004
Going back to school means going back to work for most of the teachers and staff at Quitman High School. But for athletic director Jimmie Don Holloman, he's just hoping that the pace will be a little slower.
As head football coach, Holloman and his staff have been at the field house most weekdays this summer, putting their players through the summer weight program and conditioning drills. His time has also been occupied by his duties as athletic director as he worked on schedules and plans for each of the 14 varsity sports at Quitman High School.
Fall, winter or spring, the Quitman teams will be in the mix.
In football, the Panthers made it to the state playoffs last season and hope to do so again, as they kick the season off Aug. 27 at Heidelberg High School. Holloman is assisted by varsity coaches Randy Martin, Alan Kasper, Ryan Milner and Bill Russell.
The Lady Panthers slow-pitch softball team also competes in the fall. D'Aunn Odom has been with the program for 11 seasons, serving as an
assistant coach for seven seasons and as the head coach for the past four years. The Lady Panthers won their first district championship last fall and begin their defense of that title Saturday when they open the season in the Clarkdale Classic, which will be held at the Sammie Davidson Complex.
The Panthers also compete in Cross-Country during the fall with Wendell Carney serving as head coach.
Basketball and soccer headline the winter sports.
Betsy Harris takes over the girls basketball program from long-time coach Judy Morgan, who retired after the 2003-2004 school year. Morgan has headed the Quitman girls basketball and track teams since the early 1970s.
Harris comes to Quitman from the University of West Alabama, where she has worked as an assistant coach. A former standout high school and college player, Harris has also been an assistant coach at East Central Community College and Troy State.
Steve Hampton returns to coach the boys basketball team. Hampton, who is also one of the high school assistant principals, led the Panthers to district tournament championship and a spot in the State 4A tournament. Hampton was the head coach for Mississippi in the annual Mississippi/Alabama all-star basketball game earlier this year.
Kay McKenna's girls soccer team made it to the state playoffs in its second season of play. McKenna also coaches the boys soccer team. She is assisted by Troy Graves.
The spring season is the busiest time of the year with students participating in baseball, fast-pitch softball, golf, tennis, powerlifting and boys and girls track.
Under head coach Brett Rigby, the baseball Panthers are regular contenders in the 4A State playoffs. Odom coaches the fast-pitch softball team, and Harris and Rick Todd will coach the girls and boys track teams, respectively. Eddie Sorto returns as coach of the power lifting team which has dominated the South State meet in years past and even brought home a state championship in 2001. Donna Evans coaches the tennis team, and Kasper coaches the golf team.

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