School Spotlight: Brookhaven Academy (Brookhaven, MS)

Brookhaven Academy is a class MAIS-4A high school located in Lincoln County, Mississippi, south of Brookhaven. The school was founded in 1970 and has fielded a football team since 1971. It was not until 1993, under MAIS Hall of Fame head football coach Herbert Davis, lead the Brookhaven Academy Cougars to their first State Championship. Since then, Brookhaven Academy won six District Championships in a row from 2006 through 2012, winning two state championships in 2009 and 2012. The Cougars won a seventh District Championship in 2018 under former head coach Ron Rushing. In 2021, Brookhaven Academy hired Head Coach Anthony Hart.

Coach Anthony Hart is a veteran of coaching, having over 35 years of experience under his belt, and 23 of the years as a head football coach. Coach Hart has an impressive overall record of of 220-72-1 and a pair of State Championships in his tenure at Lafayette High School in Oxford, Mississippi. He retired from Madison Central High School in Madison, Mississippi after the 2020 football season, but received the opportunity to come back into coaching in his hometown of Brookhaven, Mississippi. Coach Hart inherited the coaching staff left at Brookhaven Academy and they have not skipped a beat. Since taking the job at Brookhaven Academy in 2021, the Cougars have gone 16-6 in two seasons and 6-0 in district games. The Cougars have also maintained six straight playoff appearances.

I was able to talk to the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Anthony Hart about his football program at Brookhaven Academy. He is looking forward to the challenge of this upcoming season, with only 4 starters returning on each side of the ball. Coach Hart and his staff have plans to prepare for the upcoming season. During the offseason players go in a strength and conditioning lift cycle three days a week. One day a week they bus the kids over to the performance center to work with a guy who specializes in agility and stretching. The football team also practices speed, agility, and stretching once a week at their own facilities. Coach Hart was able to highlight some talent for each offense, defense, and special teams to keep an eye on as returning starters this year.

Lineman Jackson Porter 6’5 265 with a ton of potential. Porter shows quick speed for a lineman. Coach Hart also stated that he can play both on offense and defense if needed. This shows that he also has stamina which is important for an offensive lineman.

Jackson Porter – Lineman no. 62

Jaden Lea is one of Brookhaven Academy’s returning starters from last season. Jaden Lea is an inside linebacker that shows composure and leadership on the field.

Jaden Lea – Inside Linebacker no. 40

Cooper Strickland will be kicker and punter for the Cougars this upcoming season, he is listed at 5’9 140. Strickland has the potential to be a kicker at the next level, showing he is committed to the job by going to kicking camps in the offseason.

Brookhaven Academy Cougars look forward to the upcoming season with the young talent they will have to put on the field. Coach Hart believes in his coaching staff to develop these young men and produce a successful team on and off the field. As a former player of Coach Hart myself I can truly say he will have a playoff contending team every year.

Brookhaven Academy Football in 2021
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