Too many times, we let the opportunity to thank someone who made an impact on our lives slip past us until it is too late. Fortunately, some Senatobia football-playing alumni and others took that chance and honored a former coach.
Former team members Maurice Durley and Bobby Hogue organized a reunion of sorts in Como last weekend, all to thank Coach James Coleman for the mark he made on their lives.
The 82-year-old former coach and head of aviation for the Mississippi National Guard traveled from his home in Clinton for the event.
Durley said the evening was planned after he and Hogue visited Coleman at his home.
"We need to have one more gathering," Coach Coleman told them, and put the two men in charge of putting it together.
During the evening, over 100 former players and other students came to see their coach and honor his role in their lives. Coleman was joined by his wife Jaunie and his sons, Cliff and Jay. Former Senatobia Mayor and Pee-Wee football coach Bill Callicott was also among the guests.
Bob Monroe, son of former Senatobia Schools Superintendent Otho Monroe, presented a compilation of football season records from Coach Coleman's time at Senatobia.
His overall record for his time here, spanning from 1950-1964, was 106 wins, 31 losses, and four tie games. Senatobia High School won the Chickasaw Conference Championship or served as co-champions in 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1964.
After Coach Coleman left Senatobia to take a position at Mississippi College, articles with headlines such as "Can any high school match the fantastic record at Senatobia" appeared in the Clarion-Ledger.
After dinner, an emotional Coach Coleman stepped up to address the crowd.
He thanked the different classes represented, and told them that every one of them was a winner.
He added that the reason the football program at Senatobia was so successful was that the players here "didn't have any quit in them."
He expressed his appreciation to the late Superintendent Monroe for his support, as well as the parents of his players and the town at large.
In closing, Bobby Hogue said it was good to see all the ballplayers, and that he thought it had been a wonderful night.
At the end of the evening, Coach Coleman was presented with an album of memorabilia by Hogue.
The efforts put forth by these former athletes remind us all to say "thank you" whenever we have the chance.