Several local coaches moving to new teams

Published 12:16 am Friday, May 25, 2018

New faces will be leading Mt. Hermon’s and Pine’s girls basketball teams and Pine’s softball squad in the 2018-19 year.
Pine girls basketball/softball coach Mary McGinnis has been named Mt. Hermon’s new girls basketball coach and assistant softball coach after spending three years with the Lady Raiders. McGinnis spent three years as Pine’s girls basketball coach and was the head softball coach this past season, after spending the previous two years as the team’s assistant coach.
Under McGinnis, the basketball team reached the playoffs all three years she was at Pine and she guided the softball team to the postseason this year.
Prior to that, McGinnis coached at Calvin High School in Winn Parish for 11 years. While at Calvin, McGinnis guided the team to two state championships and three runner-ups. She was state Coach of the Year twice.
McGinnis will be teaching Algebra I.
“I am really excited about going to Mt Hermon and working with the girls team,” McGinnis said. “I have had a chance to be there for tryouts and am excited about the potential of our team. We want to build a successful program founded on hard work, discipline and family as our core values.”
Mt. Hermon principal Dawn Seal praised McGinnis.
“First of all, I’m very excited about it,” Seal said. “Our girls are excited about it and our parents are excited. We’ve had more girls try out than we’ve had in a long time this year. I think the community is very excited about it. She’s bringing discipline with her as well and I like that. Our kids need that.”
Pine principal Jennifer Thomas also had great things to say about McGinnis.
“She is a phenomenal math teacher and she’s going to be missed so much by the faculty, staff and students at Pine,” Thomas said. “She gave us nothing but her best. She was wonderful.”
McGinnis moving to Mt. Hermon left two head coaching spots open at Pine.
Pine has named Franklinton assistant basketball coach/head tennis coach Jessica Barber its new girls basketball coach. The school has tabbed assistant softball/assistant football coach Matt Stogner the new softball coach.
Barber coached at Franklinton High School her first year out of college for one year before taking an assistant college coaching position at Loyola University of New Orleans. There, they won the conference championship and made it to the Elite 8 of the NAIA National Tournament. She then took an assistant coach position at Nicholls State University.
In 2011, Barber took over at Edna Karr High School where every year was a new year of benchmarks. They played in the state semifinals in back-to-back years. While there, 12 of her seniors signed and are currently playing collegiate basketball. In addition to coaching high school, Barber coaches AAU for Domino’s Basketball and has for eight years.
Barber graduated from Franklinton in 2001 where she played for the Meyerchicks, Paul and Regina. She said this job is even more special because she will get to share a sideline with their son Drew Meyerchick, who is Pine’s boys basketball coach.
After high school, Barber played collegiate basketball for the University of Mobile.
“First and foremost, I’m thankful to WPSS for having me back home,” Barber said.
As with any new role, I have a range of emotions of course. I’m super excited about returning to my hometown community where girls basketball has such rich tradition. I’m humbled by the excitement and support the community has shown me thus far. And I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. Pine High School’s pride in academics and athletics is attractive to someone as competitive as me. I’m thankful to principal Jennifer Thomas for the opportunity and I look forward to what the future holds for Lady Raider Basketball!”
Thomas praised Barber.
“I’ve known Jessica since she was a little girl. I was actually her assistant basketball coach at Franklinton when we went to state,” Thomas said. “I taught her at Franklinton High School. I know her passion for the game and her high energy and her love for the game. It speaks for itself for what she did at Karr High School.”
Franklinton athletic director Jonathan Barber said Jessica Barber was extremely good for their tennis and basketball programs.
“She is extremely passionate about working with kids,” Jonathan Barber said. “We’re going to miss her at Franklinton. I know she’s doing what’s best for her and we wish her nothing but the best.”
Stogner has been in the schools for 14 years and has coached for 11 years.
Stogner, who went to Southwest Community College in Mississippi and got his Bachelor and Master’s from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 and 2008 respectively, began his coaching career at Pine for a year. He then went to his alma mater Dexter for four years before heading to Mt. Hermon for three years and then back to Pine where he has been for six years.
Stogner, a 2000 Dexter graduate, has been an assistant football coach every year except the three years at Mt. Hermon when he was an assistant principal. He coached baseball for two years at Dexter and was an assistant softball coach for Pine last season. He will continue as an assistant football coach.
This is Stogner’s first head coaching job.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited for it,” Stogner said.
Stogner said everything with the job has been smooth.
“Mrs. Mary (McGinnis) has been real helpful. Mrs. Jennifer and the administration have been real helpful. We lost two seniors this year. They were our first baseman and third baseman. That’s big, but we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that played a lot so we have a lot of potential there,” Stogner said.
Thomas talked highly of Stogner.
“Matt’s been a veteran teacher here for a while,” Thomas said. “He’s an assistant football coach. He’s excellent. He’s ethically and morally one of the greatest guys I know. He’s a heck of a math teacher.”
As of Monday afternoon, Franklinton had not hired a new tennis coach.


Pine softball coach Matt Stogner