Thursday, June 26, 2014
Dale new head coach of Byers boys
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Torrey Dale is young, but he’s learned from some of the best in the high school basketball business.
He’s anxious to put his winning ingredients to work at H.W. Byers High School as the new coach of the Lions.
“I’ve been around championship coaches and seen the things they’ve implemented that work,” said Dale, 27.
“I’m highly motivated, and I feel like it’s a good fit. I appreciate the administration having confidence in me to do the job.”
Dale replaces Trey Lawrence, who left after four years for a position at Briarcrest in Memphis, Tenn.
“This (being a head coach) was my dream coming out of high school,” Dale said.
The Durant native was a member of the 2005 state championship team at Durant High School, coached by Johnny Bankhead. Ironically, the Tigers beat Byers that year in the state tournament. They finished 32-2.
He is a graduate of Jackson State University. While in college he helped at Hardy Middle School in Jackson and at Durant under coach Kenyon Ross, who won state championships at both McAdams and Durant.
Dale did his student teaching at Leake County and worked under Chris Bloodsaw, who won a state championship as a player.
“I want to instill what my mentors instilled in me,” said Dale, a trustee at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Carthage. “I really feel my youth will be to my advantage.
“I want to help my players reach their potential in the classroom and on the basketball court. I want them to go to college and be successful.”
He will also be working with a championship coach at Byers. Jason Thompson will assist Dale as boys coach and Dale will assist Thompson as girls coach. Thompson has led the Lady Lions to six state championships in the past seven years.
“I’m blessed to be able to work with Jason,” he said. “I know there will be some growing pains, and it’s good to have a veteran coach beside me to guide me. I think we will click. The sky’s the limit.”
He said he wants the H.W. Byers boys to earn their accolades, too, with the ultimate goal being a state crown.
“We want to get to Jackson and win it,” Dale said.
The Byers boys last went to the state tournament in 2005, their fifth straight trip under coach Gerone Kirkland.
Coach Dale said his Lions will play an up-tempo style.
“The players will have to be in shape,” he said. “We will work hard every single practice.
“I’m 100 percent ready to get here and go to work. I look forward to working with these young men at Byers. Hopefully, the kids will buy into each other and buy into my system, and we can be successful.”
Dale said because of his age, he won’t be a “stand-back” coach.
“I will be hands-on,” he said. “I can get out there and physically show them what I want.
Dale said discipline will be a key to success and he will preach that from day one.
“I expect my players to conduct themselves in the right way on and off the court – under control and poised,” he said.
Dale was adopted when he was six weeks old. His parents, Willie and Carolyn Dale, are retired. His dad was a high school administrator and his mother a school nurse.
“They took care of me and made sure all of my needs were met,” he said. “They didn’t have to do that for me. They taught me to give back, and I’m blessed to be able to do that now as a coach. I’m humbled to be able to help somebody.”
Dale will also be teaching ninth grade Mississippi studies and world geography at H.W. Byers.
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