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BHS band, area students featured in state review

The Brookhaven High School band was highlighted and many LincolnCounty students took top honors featured in the Mississippi HighSchool Activities Association’s “Year in Review” magazine, whichwas recently released for the 2005-2006 school year.

The Brookhaven High School band and its director Zachary Harriswere selected from among bands statewide to be featured in thepublication.

Harris, who is beginning his 10th year as band director at theschool, said he was thrilled when he learned the band had beenchosen for the distinction and even more honored when he learnedabout the selection process.

“I didn’t want them to just pull names from somewhere,” he said.”But the panel actually sat down and discussed different bands, soI was very thrilled.”

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett said theband has made many accomplishments under the direction of Harrisand the assistant band directors, Gail Freeman, Jane Graves and JonNelson. Zekeies Hibler was added this year to replace Nelson,Barrett said.

“With eight years of all superior ratings, I think Mr. Harrisand our students are well deserving of this publicity and thishonor,” Barrett said.

Additionally, each year the MHSAA recognizes the winners of itsacademic and athletic competitions, and Lincoln County was wellrepresented.

The academic competitions include debate, drama, speech, writing(prose, poetry, short stories, essays) and music (band and choral).The athletic competitions include slowpitch softball, volleyball,swimming, cross country, football, cheerleading, indoor track,wrestling, soccer, basketball, power lifting, tennis, golf,fastpitch softball and baseball.

“We know there should be more than just one dimension toschool,” Barrett said. “In addition to academics, children needmore opportunities in extracurricular activities for leadershippotential.”

James Hoggart, of Brookhaven High School, won theLincoln-Douglas Debate Championship.

The Brookhaven High cheerleaders won in their division at thecheerleading state championship. BHS cheerleader Lauren Grady wasone of five across the state who won an award for best cheerleaderfor 2005-2006.

Kayla Kathleen Fisher, of BHS, was one of 16 recipients of theLindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete Award. The recipients were honoredwith a luncheon at the Capital Club in Jackson by the MHSAA andreceived a $1,000 scholarship.

Award nominees from Lincoln County were Britney Elizabeth Smith,of West Lincoln, Patrick Ayers, of Brookhaven High, Brent Fielder,of Loyd Star, Brandi Vaughn, of Loyd Star, and Meleah Dawn Brown,of Bogue Chitto.

Area bands that received a superior rating by the MHSAA are BHSin concert, sight reading and marching; Enterprise AttendanceCenter in concert and Wesson Attendance Center in concert andmarching.

The BHS band’s goal for this year is to receive all superiorratings again at the state festival and win the 4A classchampionship, Harris said.

Out of 130 students in the high school band program this year,56 are incoming ninth graders. The entire group wants to competeand win, and that’s the band’s strong point, Harris said.

“More of them understand what it takes to have a successfulprogram,” Harris said. “The more success you have, the more fun youcan have, and that’s what I always try to teach them.”