Thursday, November 23, 2006
New sign honors successful Hawks
By BARRY BURLESON
The Holly Springs High School basketball Hawks brought loads of recognition to the city the past three years. Thursday, the teams received a well-deserved honor right here at home.
A new sign saluting the Class 3A state championship teams of 2004 and 2005 and the state runner-up team of 2006 was unveiled at the intersection of Highway 7 North and Martin Luther King Drive. Another sign is set to go up later on the south end of the city.
“Now people will know when they come here that this is Hawk country, and this is the place where Hawks soar,” said Irene Walton, superintendent of schools. “This lets everyone know about the talent we have in this great city.”
Russell Johnson, who spearheaded the effort to erect the sign, called it “a special occasion to give recognition to these Holly Springs High School basketball teams.”
All three teams were led by coach Naylond Hayes.
“I want to thank everyone for coming today, and I want to thank everyone for this sign,” Hayes said
The Hawks went an amazing 98-7 during those three seasons.
The 2004 team won the first ever state championship, beating Marshall County rival Byhalia 70-66 in the championship game at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson. They finished 30-4.
The 2005 team had a 34-1 record and defeated Franklin County 47-35 in the state title contest at “The Big House.”
Last season’s Hawks went 34-2 and lost 24-22 to Yazoo County’s slowdown tactics in the championship matchup.
“We’re very proud of you,” said Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, “and we’re here to congratulate you and say thanks. You have placed Holly Springs in the limelight.”
Cleotris Brittenum officially dedicated the signs to Coach Hayes and the players before the unveiling.
“These were historical seasons,” Brittenum said, “and we proudly dedicate these signs to the Hawks for their excellence in basketball.”
Hayes said his 2006-07 team, although off to a slow start, will be in the hunt for another state crown.
“Things are rough right now, but we will get it together,” he said.
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