Members of the Jackson Academy coaching staff look forward to a 2021-22 athletic season filled with great competition and great opportunities. As incoming Head of School Palmer Kennedy begins his transition to the leadership of JA in June, interim athletic leadership positions for the year have been filled. A plan for hiring additional posts and structuring the coaching staff is underway.
Lance Pogue will serve as interim athletic director, overseeing the administration of JA’s athletic programs. He will continue as varsity head football coach, a position he held during the 2020-21 school year. Before that, he served JA for three years as defensive coordinator. Brandt Walker will continue to serve with Pogue as associate athletic director.
In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade announced Parker Bracken of Jackson Academy as its 2020-21 Gatorade Mississippi Volleyball Player of the Year. Parker is the third JA student to receive a Gatorade Player of the Year award in recent years. Parker has been named Gatorade Player of the Year two years in a row. JA will recognize Parker at a ceremony Wednesday, May 12 at break.
Last week saw Raiders in action on the field and court Wednesday and Friday through Saturday vying for state championship titles. The JA tennis teams competed in singles and doubles play throughout the day on Wednesday. Congratulations to the girls’ tennis team for claiming their sixth title in a row, and twelfth title overall, and to the boys’ tennis team for earning runner-up! On Friday and Saturday, JA track and field athletes claimed multiple state titles in individual and team events.
Congratulations to the JA Varsity Golf team on winning the MAIS 5A state championship yesterday! This was the first title earned by JA’s golfers since 2015. Seventh grader John Markow took home the Individual State Title at the competition held at the Canebreak Country Club in Hattiesburg. “After having to cancel last season, getting back into a rhythm was tough earlier in the year,” Coach Rob Triplett said. “But each week we got better. … Everything we did this year was to be our best to win this tournament.”
The Jackson Academy community celebrated two athletic signings within the past week. On Wednesday, February 3, Donovan Veasley signed to play football with Holmes Community College. This morning, Brendan Gibson signed to play football with Belhaven University. Both athletes have demonstrated great tenacity in the pursuit of their sport, overcoming injuries during high school to continue their athletic careers in college.