By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Last time Zane Adams was wearing a Millington Trojan Baseball uniform, LeBron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Peyton Manning was coming off an MVP season, the San Antonio Spurs were crowned the NBA champs and Terry Jones was mayor of Millington.
The year was 2005 and Adams was a senior ace for the Trojans. It was recently announced by the Millington Central High School administration Adams was hired as a teacher and coach for his alma mater.
“It feels good, I am excited,” Adams said. “I’ve always wanted to do it. I didn’t think it was going to happen this early in my career.
“I told my wife (Becca) I wanted to do two things in life,” he continued. “One was open my own indoor facility. The other was to coach at my old high school.”
Adams has accomplished both his goals months shy of his class’ 10-year reunion. Before becoming the Trojans Baseball coach and owner of Dugout Sports Academy in Atoka, Adams signed out of high school to play baseball at Union University.
After a year in Jackson, Adams came closer to home and played a season for Dyersburg State. The next stop for Adams was West Alabama where he pitched for two years.
His coaching career started at West Alabama as a graduate assistant. Adams returned to the Volunteer State to becoming the pitching coach for the Brighton Cardinals. After three seasons in Tipton County, Adams finally got the call to come back home.
“It felt pretty that they called and wanted me,” he said. “It wasn’t like I had to look for the job. They wanted me here. That makes you feel pretty good and wanted. To also be home makes it even better.”
Adams inherits a young roster full of potential.
“It’s here,” Adams said of the talent pool. “We’ve just got to bring the best out of the players and get them to buy into the program. And we have to let them know they can win. Because they can, we just have to get it out of them.
“I’m going to start over,” he added. “And I’m looking to build a seventh and eighth-grade team. I’m going to try to go in the middle school and get those seventh and eighth grade kids and get a team going so when they get to high school they know what to expect. I’m trying to get all these kids to buy into Millington can win. That’s my main goal.”
Adams returns to the school he graduated from with some of his old coaches still on the campus. The newbie said he’ll pull from those lessons from old baseball and football coaches to help guide his team.
While a student, Adams was an All-Region linebacker and All-District pitcher. He earned several honors on the collegiate level as well.
Over the past 10 years a lot has changed like James winning two titles with the Miami Heat before returning back to Cleveland. James and his 2014 Heat team were recently defeated by the Spurs in the NBA Finals.
Speaking of championship game losses, Manning’s 2013 record-breaking MVP season was ruined by a blowout defeat in Super Bowl 48 to the Seattle Seahawks. Manning has lost a Super Bowl as an Indianapolis Colt and now a Denver Bronco.
And after losing the 2008 Millington Mayoral election, Jones was able to reach the office again winning in 2012.
And several city leaders, teachers, peers and students have congratulated Adams on his return back to the Black and Gold.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” Adams said. “I’ve heard from a lot of people that don’t have anything to do with baseball around here. People just from around the city are telling me how happy they are that I’m back. I’ve don’t really know any of the players or the parents.
“And I kind of like that because we get to start on a new slate,” he concluded. “We can only go up. It’s there and set up for success. We’ve just have to achieve it.”