Wade takes over boys’ basketball for Pittman

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ben’s Ford Christian School athletic director/boys basketball coach Shadd Pittman is leaving the school the day after Christmas to start a job in church ministry in California Jan. 1.

Pittman, who has been the athletic director for the last three years, will continue in that role until he leaves.

Under Pittman, the athletic department had several accomplishments. Last season, the baseball team, led by Jerod Wascom, won the first varsity district title in school history and went further in the playoffs than it ever had. It played for the South State Championship last season, but lost to Glenbrook.

The football team, led by Tommy Pittman, had its first winning season in 11-man in 2012 (5-4). The boys’ basketball team was the Class A South State runner-up last year. Pittman said girls’ basketball coach Mark McGehee is helping build that program. He said the school made endeavors to re-energize the girls softball program with the help of Ricky Sprehe, Tracie Sprehe and Bo Goss. The track team, led by Laura Dantin, had three members make it to state. Pittman said the cross-country team, also led by Dantin, is continuing to improve.

“My goal as athletic director was to leave the sports programs in better shape than when I left than when I got there,” Pittman said. “Because of the coaches and players, I believe we were able to accomplish that.”

Assistant Steven Wade has taken the reigns as the boys basketball coach. Pittman coached the Eagles when the team played in the New Orleans Arena Nov. 2, but Wade is coaching the rest of the season. The club is 1-1.

The team worked out with Pittman and Wade all summer.

Pittman is confident in Wade’s abilities.

“He’s well capable of doing it,” Pittman said. “He’s very sound in fundamentals. He’s been with me (this is his second year), so I feel like he’ll do as good or better job than me.”

Wade, 32, has some head coaching experience. Last season, he was the head coach of the junior varsity team and the squad captured the district title.

Prior to that, Wade was the head coach of the Meridian Homeschool Flyers in Mississippi for one season and Memorial Baptist Christian School for a season. The Memorial Baptist squad finished district runner-up.

Wade said they are sad to Pittman leave, but said Pittman taught him a lot.

“Sitting next to him last year was a blessing,” Wade said. “I’m unworthy of this position. I’m going to do the best job I can, but I’ve got big shoes to fill in following Brother Shadd. He did a lot for this program and last year we had one of the best seasons in Ben’s Ford history.”

Last year, the Eagles played in the Class A South State Championship Game, but lost to eventual overall champion Porter’s Chapel 61-51. In the overall tournament, Ben’s Ford fell to Claiborne Academy in the opening round.

Wade, a 2005 graduate of Mississippi State University in psychology, graduated from Morton High School (2000) in Mississippi.

At Morton, he was a forward/center and part of the team’s 1997-98 state championship squad.

Wade is a counseling student at New Orleans Baptist Seminary where he is going for his master’s degree. He is also an associate pastor and student minister at Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bogalusa.

The boys’ basketball team is back in action on the road Friday, facing Oak Forest with JV girls starting at 4 p.m. That game will be followed by JV boys and then varsity girls and boys.