Baseball coach Danny Carlisle, left, of the Yellowjackets shakes the hand of former player Milton Smith following Saturday's presentation during Danny Carlisle Day. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)
Alec Romanoff and Alan Page said the same thing.
"I wouldn't have missed it."
That's how the former Starkville High School baseball players felt about returning to honor their coach on Danny Carlisle Day.
Carlisle was recognized prior to the first game of tripleheader baseball action Saturday for his 35 years of service to the school system. He's retiring as head coach this season after 29 seasons.
When Page learned there was going to be a special day for Carlisle, his mind went back to the years of 1984-85.
"I've been thinking about the great teams and great guys," Page said. "I just love it and glad to be here."
Page and Romanoff both admire the man who has meant so much to them.
As far as developing a "no quit" attitude, Page said Carlisle was instrumental in helping with that.
"I learned not to quit when there's adversity in front of me and he taught us that," Page said. "He taught us that no matter who we were facing, we could win and all we had to do was give all out effort and never give up. I learned that from him."
Romanoff made the trip from Franklin, Tenn., Friday night to be in attendance and watch the first game, a 13-3 SHS win over Louisville.
"The most important thing was they won," Romanoff said. "He's a big part of my life growing up. He did a lot for us."
On Saturday, it was the supporters turn to do some nice things for Carlisle.
Carlisle was presented a framed jersey with his No. 24 jersey, which was retired as announced by SHS athletic director Stan Miller. He was also given a flatscreen television.
Miller presented Carlisle with a crystal piece honoring him for his 35 years of service and listed his accomplishments.
There were also words of appreciation given by Miller and former players Ronald Campbell, Milton Smith, Will Arnett and Ryan Taylor.
Carlisle took the mike and expressed his thanks to those who had a part.
"It's about relationships and life relationships," Carlisle told the people gathered. "It's not about me."
Carlisle announced his retirement effective after the season. He became head coach of the Jackets in 1984.
During his career, Carlisle compiled a record of 556-248. He won five division championships, four North State titles and three state crowns in 1986, 1987 and 1991. He was honored Coach of the Year six times.
"You hate to see things come to an end, but I've had a great run," Carlisle said. "I saw a lot of former players and it was just a great day to see all of them. They brought back a lot of great memories."
During Miller's remarks to the crowd, he spoke of what a special day it was and was happy to see a nice day where the moment could be shared with those close to Carlisle.
"We would be re-missed not to honor Danny Carlisle for 35 years for what he's done both on the field and with facilities," Miller said. "There was no doubt when I came back that whenever that day came (of Carlisle's retirement), I was going to do everything I could to make it a first-class day for Danny, his family and bringing back former players. I was elated about what went on (Saturday) and beautiful weather. Thank you Danny Carlisle."
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