Coach Oakley welcomed by Exchange Club

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2022

South Panola High School head football coach Brooks Oakley continued to make the speaking rounds of clubs and organizations in Batesville last week with a visit to the Wednesday morning breakfast meeting of the Exchange Club of Batesville.

Oakley, who grew up in Senatobia and played football and baseball in high school before earning a baseball scholarship at Northwest Community College. His father was a longtime high school coach at Senatobia and the new Tigers coach said it felt natural to follow the same career path.

“When my baseball career was over I went to Ole Miss and got the opportunity to be a student assistant when Coach (David) Cutcliff  was there and was able to sit in on the quarterback meetings when Eli Manning was there and it was unbelievable to see all that,” Brooks said. “I think that’s probably where I really knew this was what I wanted to do, especially seeing the way Coach Cutcliff did it because he did it the right way.”

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Oakley coached at Olive Branch, Starkville, and was then head coach at Senatobia where he took the school to playoffs regularly.

Oakley, who coached under Ricky Woods at Starkville, was familiar with the South Panola program to a degree, and said the transition here has been easy and enjoyable. “I’ve just really enjoyed the kids from day one, and there is no question they are willing to do the work to get the results we hope to see,” he said.

Oakley was introduced to the club by Exchange member and SPSD Superintendent Tim Wilder, who noted that the new coach, his wife (a teacher) and three children have been a great addition to the district.

“It’s an honor to have him invested in our school and I know he’s going to do real good things with the players and you will see the program grow as it always has,” Wilder said.

Oakley, who has posted a 1-1 record so far at the helm of the Tigers ship, said his short time in Batesville, and coach of the football team, has been exciting, but demanding.

“I didn’t have these kinds of events much where I came from but it’s been fun for me,” Oakley said. “Everyone wants to know about the team and have made us feel more than welcome.”

Photo: Exchange Club of Batesville members welcomed SP head football coach Brooks Oakley for a program last week. Pictured with Oakley (center) are members (from left) Tim Wilder, Jimmy Smith, president Danny Jones, and Jimmy Dickerson.