Despite rumblings, Howard good coach

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, January 31, 2019

By Brad Greer

Sports Editor

With the high school basketball regular season nearing an end, I sat in the stands covering South Panola hoops last week, and continued to hear growing rumblings from fans who want boys head coach Charlie Howard removed.

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Granted wins and post-season appearances have been few and far between, but if fans would look a little bit deeper, they could see the game of basketball is more than just X’s and O’s.

Contrary to belief, South Panola is one of the smallest 6A schools in the state and it’s tough going up against programs with larger enrollments such as Tupelo, Oxford and most of the DeSoto County schools.

With that being said, Coach Howard and his long time assistant Brent Roberts have done the absolute best job possible of getting every ounce of effort from the  talent available.

What has been most important over my 12 years working here at The Panolian is that if I needed anything, whether it be a player’s name, stat or anything else that comes to mind, Coach Howard and Roberts has always been there to assist me. That means more than any wins or loses in my book.

Let’s face it, everyone knows South Panola is not known as a “basketball school” just like Jackson inner-city schools such as Murrah and Provine are not known for its baseball programs.

That’s just the way it is, some schools are stronger in one sport than another. I just wonder if the Tiger basketball team had a 89-game winning streak and has won a state championship 12 times like a certain football program we all know, chances are we wouldn’t be having this conversion.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is more to it than just showing up on game days. No duo has worked harder  at establishing a basketball program than Coaches Howard and Roberts.

From practices, watching game film, washing uniforms, and other duties that most of us never see, I’ve always heard the life of a high school coach goes unseen and a lot of times is under-appreciated. It’s taken me almost 15 years as a sportswriter to see that, but now I do.

It amuses me to sit in the stands and listen to “experts” saying its time for a change in the South Panola basketball program. When asked who would be a good replacement I almost get the same answer –  “anybody can do a better job than Howard is doing now,” they reply.

Its funny because I’ve looked on and can’t seem to find a “Coach Anybody.” Everybody seems to want change but don’t have the answer.

Finally, I will leave it at this, be careful what you wish for because sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side.