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Shelia Mader

Shelia Mader

Sports Editor

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Cottondale takes win from the Bulldogs

  • Published in Sports

The Cottondale Hornets used home court advantage and bragging rights to sail past the Marianna Bulldogs 65-48.  The victory was even sweeter on the home court in front of their faithful Hornet fans. 

Cottondale took charge early with a 9-0 shutout in the first quarter.  The Hornets were led by Amari Banks with six points, including 4-for-4 from the line.

The Bulldogs offense jumped out in the second quarter with 18 points behind the shooting of Nick Pollock who posted eight points and J’Vion Thorton with five points. Cottondale countered with 13 points with Qui’darius Henderson with four points.  Marianna was led by Nick Pollock with eight points, followed by J’Vion Thorton with five points. At the half, Cottondale had a 22-18 lead.

The third quarter was all Cottondale with 20 points to Marianna’s 13 points.  Marianna was led by Deontre Rhynes with five points, followed by Stefon McMullian with three points.  For the Hornets, it was a Amari Banks staying hot with seven points, followed by Dayron Garrett and Qui’darius Henderson with four points each.  With one quarter to go, Cottondale was in control 42-21 over the Bulldogs. 

The fourth quarter went to Cottondale, 23-17 to solidify the win.  Cottondale was led by Amari Banks with seven points, followed by Cameron Brooks with six points in the fourth quarter.  Marianna was led by Deontre Rhynes with eight points.

On the night, the Bulldogs scoring leader was Deontre Rhynes with 13 points, followed by Nick Pollock with 10 points.  Stefon McMullian was on board with eight points. 

The Hornets were led by Amari Banks with an NBA kind of night posting 23 points, followed by Cameron Brooks and Qui’darious Henderson with 10 points each. 

Lady Bulldogs open season with a 6-0 shutout over Bozeman

  • Published in Sports

The Marianna Lady Bulldogs softball team opened their season on the road this past weekend at Arnold High School.  Friday night, they took on Bozeman and handed them a 6-0 shutout behind the pitching Chloe Temples who was lights out. 

Temples went five innings, threw 76 pitches, allowed one hit, two walks, and fanned nine batters. Temples stayed ahead in the count, throwing 46 pitches for strikes. Temples faced just two batters over the minimum through five innings of work. 

With two outs in the first inning, Chloe Temples helped herself out with a double but a ground out to short left her stranded on the bag at second.  

In the second inning, Gabby Bess led off with a walk and moved to third on a single by Kennedy Harris.  Ashtyn Jeter sacrificed both runners home before a groundout ended the inning.  The Lady Bulldogs were up 2-0.  

In the third inning, Lauren Brock led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.  A singled by Deana Holland scored Brock with Holland out trying for second.  Chloe Temples made it a two-for-two game with a single and moved to second on an error before advancing to third on a passed ball. With two outs, Gabby Bess picked up an RBI when she singled home Temples.  A groundout ended the inning with Bess on first but Marianna was up 4-0.  

The fourth and final offensive inning for Marianna started with a one-out single by Anni Beebe who quickly took second on a steal. Lauren Brock singled to left centerfield to score Beebe before scoring when Deana Holland took advantage of a Bozeman miscue and ended up at third. A flyout to centerfield ended the inning with the Lady Bulldogs having more than enough offense to pick up their first win of the season.  


Coaches who choose to coach in small towns set themselves apart immediately from the ‘big city’ coaches.  They have a different take on coaching and its perimeters.  Cottondale’s own Chris Obert is one of those such coaches.  

Obert has been coaching as a head coach 15 years, with many years prior as an assistant coach.  He’s coached both boys and girls’ basketball from the assistant standpoint to the head coach as well as an assistant on the sidelines for football.  Obert is quick to say there is no real difference in coaching boys or girls, and that both his time with the boys and girls were good.  

Obert has certainly proven he is equally successful on both courts.  While head coach of the girls, he racked up three district championships and two runners up, made it out of district five of six years.  On the boys’ side, he has nine years under his belt as their head coach.  He has four district titles and four runners up, once again making it beyond district in all but one year, eight out of nine years. He’s taken his girls’ teams to two regional finals and two regional semi- finals, and one regional quarter final.  On the boys’ side, Obert’s team had one regional quarter final and four regional semi-finals, and three regional finals.

Obert says there are pros and cons of coaching multiple sports, “It’s easier to come to the job working in the gym and coaching football makes it easier because a lot of stuff rolls over to the gym from the field or the court.”

Obert says of his coaching philosophy, “The biggest thing to me is to try to help the whole young’un. Young boys more than anything need help off the court and field so you have to develop the whole kid.  They are young adults and they have to mature.  I try to help them mature both on the court as a player but off the court as a person.  On the court, we want work hard, practice hard, and play hard. I want them to be disciplined, and we want to have a close group.  I have coaching in four parts; part of it is a family type atmosphere.  We want the kids to feel comfortable all the time. If they lose eligibility, we want them to feel comfortable to come back and be part of the program – to me that is more important than wins and losses.”

When asked about former players he felt like he had made a difference in through his coaching philosophy, Obert proudly said, “There are several that come to mind.  They come back by the school as adults or I run into them somewhere and I see them successful and see that they’ve become successful adults after high school.”

Obert’s success as both a coach and a mentor have not gone unnoticed by his peers. Long time, veteran coach Travis Blanton says, “Chris Obert is one of the best coaches that we’ve ever had in this county.  He works as hard as any coach that I’ve been around in 25 plus years.  He is always in the gym, somewhere teaching, or learning.  He has all of his kids respect and they will run through a wall for him.  That’s why his teams never get out toughed.  I always regretted trying to prepare for his team.  One of the counties true legends, and a great friend on top of all of that.”

Malone coach Steve Welch reiterates more of the same,”He is a good communicator with his players and is great with kids.  He is a guy I respect because of the love, loyalty, and extra effort he gives his guys.”  

If you have not had the opportunity to watch a well disciplined and dedicated team of basketball players, you have missed some awesome basketball. You have another opportunity as he will take the court Friday night in Grand Ridge in the second round of the District Championship.

The Jackson County Times salutes Chris Obert on a great job both on and off the court.

County to meet with top candidate on salary

The Jackson County Commissioners have completed the interview process and have cast their rankings for their choice for an administrator to replace Ernie Padgett who turned in his resignation approximately two months ago.  

Human Resource Director Lennetta Greene presented the board with the rankings at the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, held at Sneads High School.  The highest ranking went to Lyndon L. Bonner of Ocala who scored 40 points.  Commissioner Willie Spires scored Bonner a 10 (the highest ranking allowed), with Clint Pate and Jim Peacock giving him an eight. Eric Hill and Chuck Lockey both rated Bonner a seven.  

The next highest ranking went to Marianna resident Rick Pettis with a 38, given a 10 by Lockey, and an eight by Spires and Hill. Pate rated Pettis a seven with Peacock giving him a five.  

Commissioners Spires made the motion to offer the job to Mr. Bonner based on the rankings, with a second by Commissioner Pate.  The motion carried 5-0.

Jim Peacock made a motion to offer Bonner the job with a salary of $80,000, the bottom of the scale for the salary offered where the range was $80,000 to $120,000 with the understanding that if he comes on board and does a good job, they revisit it in a year, that is typically what we do with all our employees.  Clint Pate seconded the motion with the motion carrying on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Chuck Lockey and Willie Spires voted against. 

Spires addressed the board, “Let me see if I am getting this correctly here.  The most we are going to offer a seasoned, experienced administrator is $80,000 for a year.”  Peacock replied, “That is correct Dr. Spires.”

Spires said, “With the realistic anticipation that he is going to accept that. I don’t think that is being reasonable.  That is ridiculous. It wreaks of sabotaging the point system in my opinion.  It wreaks, lets offer this individual something that he will not accept and he’ll move on.  The goal of this commission was to try to get a seasoned employee who can help this county.  We should not be playing games with the taxpayers’ dollars.”

Peacock responded, “I don’t consider myself playing games when we have Foreman and Chief Birge sitting out there and they have their employees begging for a raise. We can take some of this money and give them a raise.  We don’t know if he will take the $80,000 and I am not playing a game at all but by the same token I don’t think he needs to be overpaid.”

The commission will meet with Bonner in an open meeting on February 19 for discussions on salary.  An alternative was not discussed if Bonner declined to accept the position. The next candidate in the rankings would be Rick Pettis with a 38. 

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