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SMITH COLUMN: Carlisle roast offers laughs, serious times

May 2, 2012


It was an enjoyable time being able to listen to the roast of Starkville High School baseball coach Danny Carlisle Tuesday night.

If someone was looking for a laugh Tuesday night, it could easily be found at the Greensboro Center Auditorium.

A roster of roasters, including some of Carlisle's former players, friends and fellow coaches, got to take some shots before Carlisle took the mike and got the last laugh. Believe me, he made the most of it.

Not sure what Carlisle plans to do once his coaching career comes to an end, but if he wanted to be a stand-up comic, there might be some that would encourage that after seeing the closing moments of the roast.

Of those dishing out and taking were Chris Correro, who played for Carlisle from 1984-86, Ryan Taylor, who played for him from 1989-91, Kevin Randle, who played for him from 1992-95, coach John Patton, a former SHS coach from 1986-2010, coach Tate Fischer, a Jacket coach since 1990, and Stan Miller, the Starkville athletic director since 2010.
All six of these men had their own stories to tell. Not sure how much of it was true, but once they committed, there was no turning back.

As each man told their own set of stories about Carlisle, he sat in a red chair in the middle of the stage and took notes himself. Carlisle was planning the things he was going to say once it became his turn.
Even though there was plenty of good natured humor taking place, there were also some serious moments.

Correro talked about how much Carlisle touched many lives and that he "has been a big part of my life growing up."

Taylor spoke of the impact Carlisle has made on the city of Starkville.
"The passion he had for kids, the community and program are unmatched," Taylor said.

Carlisle graduated from SHS in 1971 and has worked in the school district for 35 years. He has been the baseball coach of the Jackets for the last 29 seasons.

Starkville has won three state championships under Carlisle's leadership (1986, 1987 and 1991). He has won over 500 games during his coaching career.

Miller, who has watched as Carlisle has achieved success with the Yellowjackets, said motivation is a key to it.

Bo Bell may have said it best during his remarks.

"There will never be another Danny Carlisle," Bell said.

Credit must be given to SHS journalism advisor R.J. Morgan and those who worked closely with him for putting together the roast. It was definitely worth the effort.

Carlisle now turns his attention to the business at hand and that's try to coach SHS to another series win which is very important to him.

As it was indicated during the roast, Carlisle hates to lose and I'm sure he reminds the Jackets, even today, that losing is not an option.

Starkville takes on the New Hope Trojans in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs, ironically the Trojans have been one of the biggest rivals for the Jackets over the years.

This should be a close and competitive series with the winner moving on to play for the North State title the following weekend.

It would be fitting if Carlisle was sent into retirement with a fourth state championship.

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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