Roy Pinkston - Forest
Roy Pinkston has served his home community as an educator and coach who took his teams to great heights including state championships on the hardcourt.
Pinkston is a twin born to Elmer and Beatrice Hornsby Pinkston in Smith County. He and his deceased twin, Troy, are the youngest of 10 children.
Having been raised in Forest, he graduated from E.T. Hawkins High School in 1967. He continued his education at Mississippi Valley State University with a degree in coaching and history. He later attended Mississippi State University at Meridian and Jackson State University where he earned his master’s degree in education.
Pinkston completed his practice teaching in Tchula and moved to North Scott Attendance Center before ending up in the Newton County School District. He returned to his alma mater in the Forest Municipal School District where he eventually retired in 2011.
At all schools, Pinkston coached football, basketball, and track and excelled in all of them. While at Hawkins Middle School in 1998, he coached football and basketball while going undefeated in basketball. Pinkston advanced to the high school level to lead the Forest basketball program in 2002.
Winning more than 20 games per season, Pinkston guided the Bearcats to four state tournament appearances in Class 3A competition and won the state championship in 2007 and 2010.
Pinkston is married to Joann Odom Pinkston and they have seven living children including four sons and three daughters: Reggie, Todd, Joey, and Josh, joined by Lawanda, Arnedral, and Jalisha. Two children have passed away.
Pinkston now resides in Forest where he serves as a Scott County Election Commissioner. Activities as a member of New Hope Church of God in Christ include head deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and chairman of the trustee board.
Colton Mitchell - Lake
Colton Mitchell earned numerous athletic honors during his time in the Lake High School Baseball program and took those talents to the college level.
Mitchell earned all-division honors in 2007, 2008, and 2009 with all-state honors coming his way in 2008 and 2009. He was named to the .300 club for batting averages in 2007-2009, and he was named Most Valuable Player in 2009. He was selected for the State Games of Mississippi in 2008 and for the Mississippi All-Star Baseball game in 2009.
At East Central Community College, Mitchell earned All-State honors in 2010 and 2011 and was named Most Valuable Pitcher in 2010 and 2011.
Mitchell took his game to the senior college level where he played for the Delta State University Statesmen 2011-2013. While at Delta State, Mitchell was named All-Gulf South Conference, All-South Region, and All-American, all in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Mitchell won the following honors, semi-finalist for the Tino Martinez Award (National Player of the Year), finalist for the C-Spire Ferris Trophy, Gulf South Conference Championship, South Regional Champions, and the National Championship Runner-Up.
Also in 2012, Mitchell was responsible for the only perfect game pitched in Delta State history.
Mitchell currently works as a broiler technician for Tyson Foods. He is married to Jordan Mitchell and they have a six month old daughter, Adley.
Chad Harrison - Scott Central
Chad Harrison traded his calculator as a professional accountant for a basketball coach’s whistle and guided some of the most successful basketball teams in Scott Central High School’s history and the career of one of the most successful athletes in Mississippi history.
Harrison, a native and resident of Union, graduated from Union High School in 1990 and earned an Associate of Arts degree from East Central Community College in 1992 with a 3.62 GPA, and where he was also involved in many campus activities. Harrison then earned his Bachelor of Professional Accountancy degree in May 1994 at Mississippi State University with a 3.54 GPA, where he was a member of many organizations and activities.
After working one year in an accounting firm in Forest, Harrison felt called to education. He earned his teaching license with three endorsements and became a social studies, business, and physical education teacher and junior and high school girls’ basketball coach at Scott Central Attendance Center in 1995.
Harrison completed his own collegiate education with a Master of Science in Physical Education with emphasis in sports administration at Mississippi State University in 2000 with a 4.0 GPA.
His duties as an educator continued to expand as he became an athletic director and assistant principal as well as teacher and coach. After overseeing federal programs and testing for the Scott County School District, Harrison was named assistant superintendent in 2014, which he continues to serve.
While his leadership of the school district was strong, Harrison’s performance as the girls’ high school basketball coach at Scott Central took the program to heights never seen before and guided some of the best talent in the state.
Harrison left basketball coaching with a 389-225 record that includes three state championships and one state runner up title, three south state championships, numerous local, district, and regional tournament championships dotting his record from 1995 to 2014. He coached numerous all-star games and received many Coach of the Year honors. The honors are reflective of leading a girls’ basketball program that regularly played deep to post-season levels.
During his career at Scott Central, Harrison coached many talented players including Elyse Clay, Kelcia Bufkin and others, sending seven players to all-star game participation and numerous players under his watch received all-state and all-district honors.
It was his guidance of the 5-year career of Victoria Vivians, Mississippi’s all-time scoring leader and a national leader among many honors in girls’ basketball, that earned him much attention. Harrison’s guidance also laid the foundation for Vivians to continue her stellar basketball career at Mississippi State University where she helped the Lady Bulldogs reach the Final Four twice. Vivians now plays for the Indiana Fever in the professional ranks of the WNBA.
He is married to Dr. Nicole Flint Harrison of Philadelphia. They have a son, Dylan, and one daughter, Julia. They attend First Baptist Church in Union and enjoy attending sports events and activities.
Pam Green Hampton - Sebastopol
Pam Green Hampton holds an impressive record of basketball and teaching accomplishments having played as a Sebastopol Lady Bobcat, ECCC Lady Warrior, and MSU Lady Bulldog before becoming a successful educator.
She was a standout on the 1987-88 and 1988-89 East Central Community College Lady Warrior basketball teams, coached by Sammy Pace, also a member of the Scott County Sports Hall of Fame.
A Sebastopol native, Hampton said her love for basketball began in the sixth grade. “Coach Tony Bell, my science/health teacher, would take us all to the high school gyn and let us compete in layups against the boys. That’s when I knew I wanted to play basketball,” she said.
The school started a junior high school basketball program during her seventh-grade year, and she made the team in 1981. She helped lead the eighth-grade team to the Cherokee Conference title in 1982-83.
During her freshman year, she played basketball and participated in other sports and activities including track and cheerleading while maintaining an A-average. She lettered in both sports under coach Kenneth Thrash. She received the hustle award in basketball, averaging five points and six assists.
Hampton lettered in both sports her sophomore year and stayed with cheerleading. Hampton averaged 10 points and six assists and received All Cherokee Conference honors and was named the team’s best offensive player. Coach Thrash left during her sophomore season, succeeded by Coach Pace.
Another coaching change just before her junior year brought in Truman Moore but Hampton stayed the course. Green averaged 12 points and seven assists during her junior season and received all-district and all-conference honors. Sebastopol won the sub-district 6A East Championship and advance to the South State Tournament with a 19-9 record, posting a 18-3 record against Class A schools in the process.
During her senior season, Sebastopol won its own invitational tournament, Cherokee Conference Tournament, Division 5-North Tournament, and made school history by finishing as state runners-up in Class A with a 23-7 record. Green averaged 10 points and nine assists with six rebounds during her senior season and was named All Conference and All-State.
Hampton and the other Lady Bobcats kept the magic going with Coach Pace at East Central Community College. Pace was named the ECCC coach and signed Hampton and other former Lady Bobcats for the 1987-88 season.
At ECCC, Hampton averaged 12 points in leading the team to a winning record during her freshman year.
During her sophomore season in 1988-89, she excelled on offense especially from long distance making 62 percent of all attempts, earning the nickname “3-point Pam.” Her eventual 67 three-pointers were just two shots shy of the national record.
She made a career-high nine 3-pointers one night at Southwest Mississippi Community College, even drawing support from the home crowd including the student section urging her to go for the 3-pointers. She averaged 18 points and 11 assists per game and helped lead ECCC to a national number three ranking with an 18-8 record. The team won the MACJC South Division Tournament and finished third regionally in NJCAA. Hampton received All-Star and All-State honors.
Other activities at ECCC included the Warrior Corps and the Tom-Tom newspaper staff. She was also named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.
Receiving numerous offers at the next level, Hampton chose to walk-on at Mississippi State University and earned a scholarship at mid-year. A highlight of her MSU career was setting a school record with 12 points scored in a minute-and-a-half.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in coaching and teaching, Hampton moved into the elementary and secondary school levels in Quitman schools. In addition to coaching successes, she has also received teaching honors and serves on the teacher advisory committee.
She and her husband, Steve, an Alfa insurance agent, have a daughter, Hannah, who is a student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Watt Whatley - Forest
Watt Whatley was a standout golfer for the Forest Bearcats and took his talents to the college level and the Southeastern Conference with the MSU Bulldogs.
Whatley played golf for Forest High School 1983-1986 where he was consistently named All-State on the high school level.
He took those skills to Mississippi State University where he played 1986-1991. Whatley was named All SEC Second Team in 1991. Leading up to that, he was an MSU letterman 1988-1991.
In 1989, Whatley earned recognition in winning the Mississippi Amateur Championship, Open Championship, and 4-Ball Championship. He is the only person to win all three competitions in the same year.
Whatley moved to the next level in playing for the Professional Golf Association as he competed on the PGA Tour 1991-1993.
Rowana Pope - Forest
Rowana Pope’s success on the high school level playing basketball for the Forest Lady Bearcats led her to a professional career where she represented her hometown with pride.
It all started for Pope at Forest where she was a multi-sport athlete competing in basketball, track, and tennis.
On the hardcourt during her sophomore season in 1974-75, Pope was named to all-tournament teams and was recognized for all-district. She was named FHS Best Defensive Player in the Morton Classic.
In track, she earned first place in the North Little Dixie competition and second place in the Overall Little Dixie. This was after taking first place on the district level. She also won first place in the South Mississippi final and second place in Class A on the state level.
During her junior year in basketball, Pope was named to the all-tournament teams for the Central Mississippi Classic, Morton Classic, and Scott County Tournament. She was named to the All North Little Dixie Team and Little Dixie Conference after taking all-district and all-state honors.
In track during her junior season, Pope won first place finishes in District, North and Overall Little Dixie competitions respectively. She won second place on the South Mississippi and first place on the state Class A levels.
Pope was also a member of the first tennis team at Forest High School.
During her senior season, Pope was named to the all-tournament teams for the Central Mississippi Classic, Morton Classic, and Scott County Tournament. She was also named to All-North Little Dixie, All-District 6, All-South Mississippi, and All-State. She was also named Best Offensive Player in the Little Dixie Conference.
Pope played in the Mississippi High School All-Star game and was named FHS basketball MVP.
In the baseball throw competition in track, Pope won first place in North and Overall Little Dixie, District 6, and State Class A, respectively. She received second place in South Mississippi regional.
In tennis, Pope reached the state doubles finals.
Pope took her talents to the collegiate level where at Mississippi College in 1978-79, she was named basketball MVP and co-captain and NWIT All-American. She was also named MVP in softball and tennis.
In 1979-80, Pope was named basketball MVP, team captain, All-State, All-Region and in softball. She also received the Cassandra Fairchild Sportsmanship Award and was a National Finalist for the Wade Trophy.
While still at Mississippi College in 1980-81, Pope played for the St. Louis Streak in the Women’s Professional Basketball League.
Pope remained at Mississippi College where she served as a coach and was named Coach of the Year in volleyball in 1991 and in softball in 1993. Pope was inducted into the Mississippi College Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Bill Ingersoll - Lake
Bill Ingersoll enjoyed a successful career coaching basketball at Lake High School where he led the Hornets’ programs to great successes in 14 years of leadership.
The highlights of Ingersoll’s career at Lake include a 170-64 record in girls’ basketball over eight years. That record includes a Class 1A state championship among Lake’s three trips to the Mississippi Coliseum in state tournament action. In addition to a South State Championship, Ingersoll helped Lake girls win five divisional championships and three Scott County Championships.
Ingersoll was named Mississippi High School Activities Association Coach of the Year and coached five student-athletes who advanced to the collegiate level of basketball.
Ingersoll also coached boys’ basketball with a 57-57 record over five years.
His coaching talents crossed over from the hardwood to the gridiron as Ingersoll served as the head football coach for three years. Under his leadership, Ingersoll guided the Hornets to a South State runner-up title.
Ingersoll’s teaching and coaching career also includes 10 years at Aberdeen and four years at Greenwood with a one-year stop in Holly Springs.
Sammy Holifield - Lake
The late Sammy Holifield represented Lake High School in athletics with outstanding skill and pride through his high school career, earning the reputation as “all everything” for the Hornets.
Holifield was named All-District for four years and All-State for two years in football for the Lake Hornets. Twice he was named the Hornets’ Most Valuable Player and lead the state in rushing in 1988. He was named the MVP in the state championship game in 1988 and played in the Mississippi High School All-Star Game at East Central Community College.
Holifield went on to play football at West Alabama University.
Ken Gordon Sr. - Morton
The late Kenneth Lloyd Gordon Sr. successfully guided students on the basketball court as well as in academics as a teacher, administrator and coach for the Scott County School District, namely at Morton High School.
A native Scott Countian, Gordon lived in Forest for 40 years but grew up just north of Morton in the Branch Community and graduated from Branch High School. He joined the U.S. Army, serving his country for two years in Germany, and returned home to marry his high school sweetheart, Donna Carroll. He also began his pursuit of a college education with the goal of becoming a high school teacher and coach. He earned degrees from East Central Community College, the University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi College. During this time, he and Donna were blessed with three children.
Gordon taught and coached at Goodhope, Branch, Morton, and Forest high schools, starting with a six-year stint at Goodhope. He guided several boys’ basketball players through the high school to the college level and served as a director of recreational programs during the summers.
Coach Gordon took over the Morton High School boys’ and girls’ basketball programs in 1957 and held that position for eight years with much success. He was named Outstanding Basketball Coach of the Little Dixie Conference in 1962 and served as conference president.
After later switching to the Bearcats, he was named Teacher of the Year at Forest High School in 1966.
Gordon served four years on the Mississippi Association of Coaches Board of Directors and was instrumental in establishing boys’ and girls’ all-star game programs. He represented MAC on the national level and was named to the National Association of Coaches Board of Directors.
Gordon became principal at Hawkins Middle School in Forest in 1970, during integration, where he served for five years. After retirement, he served as president of the Scott County Retired Teachers Association.
Gordon entered politics and was elected as Scott County Chancery Clerk in 1975 where he served 12 years. He retired from public service after 40 years in 1988. The Scott County Board of Supervisors and the Scott County Bar Association recognized him for dedicated and outstanding service.
Also in the community, Gordon belonged to the Forest Country Club where he enjoyed playing golf, served on the City of Forest Democratic Election Commission, supported the American Cancer Society, and other activities. He enjoyed helping to take elderly citizens to doctor appointments. He was also a member of the American Legion and served as a Post Commander as well as a member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars. He led the Voice of Democracy, a VFW and Broadcasters Association of America program for high school students.
A Mason and Shriner, Gordon was and long-time member of the Forest Baptist Church where he was a member of the L.O. Atkins Sunday School class, a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and church clerk.
Freddie J. Bagley - Forest
Freddie J. Bagley has enjoyed a successful business career in which he leads a major banking institution in Mississippi, but he also has a legacy in the athletic history of Scott County and East Central Mississippi.
Bagley is a graduate of Forest High School (1970) where he lettered in four sports including football, baseball, basketball, and track. He also served as president of the student body and his academic talents earned him membership of the Beta Club and designation as a national merit semi-finalist.
At East Central Community College, Bagley graduated in 1972 and was an all-state quarterback and was inducted into the ECCC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Mississippi College in 1974. His education credits also include the Mississippi School of Banking in Oxford (1978) and the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Banking (1982). He also has completed numerous other seminars and schools including a week’s study at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
He started his education career as a teacher and coach at Warren Central High School in Vicksburg. He taught math and coached junior high sports and was an assistant baseball coach.
One year later, he returned to Forest under the administration of L.O. Atkins as a teacher and coach where he remained for one year.
He is married to the former Mary Lynn Rhodes of Forest. They have three daughters including Brett, Brooke, and Bethany. He and Mary Lynn have three grandchildren including Wright, Olivia Merritt, and Bennett.
Bagley left education for the banking profession as he joined Community Bank in Forest in 1976. He has held many positions in Community Bancshares, Inc., of Mississippi including. Bagley has served as chairman and director since January 1990. Previously, he served as vice chairman of the board and has been on the Board of Directors since January 1982.
He has also served as a member of the American Bankers Association National Committee.
While in Forest, Bagley served as president of the Forest School Board of Trustees and worked on various fund raisers for the school. He is best known for the “Bag and Jack Show” on the local cable channel on Saturday mornings whereas he and Jackie Calhoun provided comments and information on the Forest football games for more than 12 years. Bagley and Calhoun raised almost $250,000 for the athletic and band programs during this time.
Bagley’s credits also include numerous United Methodist Church positions of service as well as economic development associations. These would include, but not limited to: Forest Lions Club, Forest Chamber of Commerce, Forest Community Arts, Forest Choral Boosters, treasurer of Friends of the Library, and the Oak Ridge Property Owners Association.
He is a former member of Forest United Methodist Church where he served as a Sunday school teacher for over 25 years. He served as past treasurer, past finance chairman and served on the Finance Committee for several years.
As his job duties progressed in the Community Bank company, Bagley moved to Jackson and has continued his interest in service to his church family and community.
He is a member of Christ United Methodist Church and board member of Mississippi United Methodist Foundation and member of the Mississippi United Methodist Foundation Investment Committee where he serves as Chairman.
Bagley is also a board member of Rankin First Economic Authority and a board member of the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership.
Dewey Austin Holmes - Lake
Using the experience of being a part of the Lake Hornets’ most successful football team, Dewey Holmes parlayed that into inspiration to lead a successful military career and in raising a family.
Holmes was born in 1957 as the youngest of five children to J.T. and Annie Bell Holmes. He started school at age five and lived through integration and civil rights struggles of the 1960s using athletics as his first inspiration for success. He also loved baseball and basketball but settled on football as his sport of concentration. He played quarterback for the junior high teams and moved to running back for high school. On of his early teams only lost one game, by a margin of a field goal, and won a conference championship.
Holmes stepped up his game to help the Hornets win a Cherokee Conference Championship with more than 100 yards and two touchdowns to his credit to earn Holmes MVP honors for the game. During that season, he led the conference in scoring and gained more than 1,000 yards.
Between his junior and senior seasons, Holmes lost his father and his focus in life. With the help of Coach Granville Freeman (HOF inaugural class of 2015) and an older brother, Holmes returned his senior year to help lead the Hornets to their biggest year. Holmes was a member of the “Refined 29” team that finished the 1974 season undefeated, untied, and unscored upon.
After graduation from Lake High School, Holmes entered East Central Community College after receiving numerous athletic scholarships to other schools. He enrolled in the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps at ECCC. He then transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi where he switched to the Air Force ROTC program. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and was commissioned a second lieutenant.
Holmes entered the work of aircraft maintenance for the U.S. Air Force where he oversaw the care of numerous aircraft at duty stations across the United States and on bases around the world over a 26-year career. He was recognized numerous times for his work ethic and successful completion of assigned tasks, often over and above the call of duty. He retired in 2006 with the rank of colonel. He entered the private sector working for a government defense contractor in Tucson, Arizona.
Holmes credits his football experience as the inspiration for his professional life in the military, noting how in both environments, “We stood as one with a common goal, with objectives to win, execute each play to perfection, and be the best we could be on and off the field.”
Holmes was married in 1982 to his wife, Felecia, whom he met while at USM. They have a son and a daughter.
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David Blane Livingston Jr. - Morton
David Blane Livingston Jr. excelled in athletics for the Morton Panthers and carried that success on the college level before returning to his hometown and continues to serve and contribute to his community.
Livingston graduated from Morton High School in 1988 to finish a high school football career of distinction. He served as quarterback for the Panthers and accounted for more than 2,000 yards and 21 touchdowns during his senior season. His honors included MVP honors for the Panthers.
Livingston was selected as the Meridian area First Team Quarterback and was the 1988 District co-MVP. He was also selected for the Mississippi High School All-Star Game where he threw the game-winning 43-yard touchdown pass in a 7-0 North Team victory. The victory, before 4,000 spectators in Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, ended a five-game winning streak by the South Team.
In one newspaper report in 1987, Panthers Coach Johnny Mills said of Livingston, “As long as he is in the game, we’re capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. We’re never out of a ballgame because he can make things happen.”
Livingston received an athletic scholarship to Mississippi College where he played quarterback for the Choctaws on the 1989 team that won a National Championship. He also played on the 1990 Gulf South Conference Championship Team. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and finance.
Livingston returned to his hometown and became involved in the Panther football program serving as a commentator for the “Panther Playback” on cable television 1993-1998. He took his spirit of service to the State Capitol where he represented Scott County in the Mississippi House of Representatives 2000-2004.
Livingston is currently a real estate appraiser and business owner in Morton and attends Homewood Methodist Church.