Allen thankful for dedicated coaches
by Donell Maxie
Mar 23, 2014 | 4211 views | 0 0 comments | 57 57 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It goes without saying that the John F. Kennedy Lady Hornets had an impressive year.

With a 32-0 record, a Region 3-1A Championship, a North Half Championship and a State Championship, it's easy to conclude that this was indeed a dream season.

The efforts of the young ladies have been well documented as well as the role head coach Linda Allen played.

What has not been talked about are how assistant coaches Arthur Floyd and Gil "T.Y." Thompson played a pivotal part in helping push the Lady Hornets to another level.

Floyd has been with the program for over 30 years and 23 years as Allen's assistant.

He has been a part of the good and the bad, but from his perspective it has been most good working with the Lady Hornets.

"We have always had good teams, but this year everything came together and we were able to win it all," said Floyd.

Allen said working with Floyd has been a joy over the years.

"Coach Floyd was here when I started here and he has been the best,” Allen said. “It means a lot to have someone committed and dedicated as he was and is to the program — to bring that gold ball home for him and Mr. (Eltea) Lambert.”

Lambert was the principal at JFK when Allen was hired, and she remembers the conversation when he said to Floyd that, "I know I'm hiring a track coach, but she's willing to do whatever it takes to get a gold ball to Mound Bayou."

Doing whatever it takes meant taking help wherever they could find it and in Thompson they found someone who was familiar with the girls and someone who loved Mound Bayou.

"Coach Floyd asked T.Y. to come out and watch our girls one day, and he came over the summer and we have been working together every since," said Allen.

Allen also commented on Coach Floyd's dedication to his job.

"Coach Floyd would have junior high girls’ practice and then stay two more hours with the high school. That can take a toil on you and your family, but he was there everyday," said Allen.

The impact that Thompson has had on the program isn't something that Allen did not expect.

"Coach T.Y. isn't new to our program,” Allen said. “He used to hold a camp in Jackson and our girls would attend. He has always been behind the scenes encouraging us. He told us that we had a great team, but if we used our speed and change our offense and stop playing zone and mix it up with some full court pressure and man-to-man then we could be even greater.”

That greatness manifested itself in the Lady Hornets averaging 61.4 points per game as well as holding their opponents to just 36.6 points per game on defense throughout the season.

With Thompson, success follows him wherever he goes.

After graduating from JFK, Thompson accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Alcorn State University. A four-year letterman in basketball at Alcorn, Thompson captained the 1981 team and then served as a student assistant coach in 1982. He graduated from Alcorn State in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in business.

He was the head coach of the Raymond High School Rangerettes who went 33-5 in 2000 and won the 4A State Championship, the first in the school's history.

Before becoming the head girls coach at Raymond, Thompson was an assistant coach for the Raymond boys and girls teams from 1996-1999. During the 1999 season, the boys won the 3A State Championship. Thompson has directed the Mean Green Machine AAU club leading his teams to eight AAU State Championships.

"Last year, I watched them in the playoffs and saw all the athleticism, but I also saw some things that was missing schematically,” Thompson said. “I am a true Hornet and so I saw them play over at New Site against South Delta and they lost. I saw the pain in Frederica's eyes and the pain in Ieysha and Coach Allen's eyes and I whispered in Coach Allen's ear and I said, 'I think I can help you win. I was sick of seeing Mound Bayou lose, so whatever I had to do to help end this drought I was willing to do.”

For Thompson it's not about him, it's all about Coach Allen, Coach Floyd and the players.

"I just wanted to do whatever I could to help this team. It's not about me. I've had my time in the sun, this was about bringing a state championship to Mound Bayou," said Thompson.