Lady Braves have winning tradition with ‘Cob’

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2003

In the morning hours he can usually be found hanging around the Eutaw Gun and Bait Shop playing Rook and mingling with the locals. But while many of the other "youngsters" that he socializes with at the bait shop must run off to doctor’s appointments in the afternoon, the 71-year-old Robert "Cob" Jarvis heads off to the Warrior Academy basketball gym for a different afternoon appointment with 11 young ladies.

Cob, as he has been called since the age of five for being as tough as a corn cob, is the 1A Warrior Academy varsity girls basketball head coach, and throughout his 10 seasons as head coach of the Lady Braves, he has had a great deal of success at his morning card game but even more on the court.

As head coach of the Lady Braves, Cob has lead his team to five final four state championship appearances and nine final eight appearances while winning eight-of-10 area championships and one Class 1A State Championship.

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If you’re looking for a good basketball game just take a ride to Eutaw because it doesn’t get much better than the Lady Braves of Warrior Academy. Winning has become a tradition in Eutaw but coach Jarvis believes it started long before he arrived.

But although winning is the norm in Eutaw it’s been three years since the Lady Braves have come away from Montgomery with a championship.

After winning the 2001 AISA State Championship, the Lady Braves have been back to the final four three straight years but have had to walk away with nothing all three times.

They haven’t lost many but the ones they have loss have hurt the most. In 2002 the Lady Braves finished the regular season undefeated and made their fifth straight trip to Montgomery for a chance to bring home another state championship.

But after winning 29 straight games the Lady Braves suffered their first and only loss of the season in the last seconds of the state championship game as Sparta Academy pulled off a miracle shot and sunk a three-pointer at the buzzer to win it all.

Throughout his lustrous career, coach Jarvis has had the privilege of coaching at almost every level including an eight-year stretch as the University of Mississippi Men’s Head Basketball Coach from 1968-1976.

And though he has coached many teams and been a part of many thrilling games, to watch the ball float through the air towards the basket in those last seconds of that championship game and then to hear the swoosh of the ball passing through the net and the loud buzzer following, was one of two games in his life he will never be able to forget.

But this year the Lady Braves are off to another great start at 8-0 and look to have another shot at a state championship come February. Coach Jarvis has another hungry team full of talent that know the true definition of team.

There isn’t much difference between any of Lady Braves starting five whom all average between six and 10 points per game. Freshmen Keshara Moore is currently leading the Lady Braves in scoring with an average of 10 points per game, while junior Ashton Lee leads in rebounds with an average of 10 per game.

But senior Jeannie Colsen, senior Tara Porter, junior Brenna Lashley and sixth man junior Brandi Gregory are all major contributors and have stepped up this season when needed.

There may not be much in the small town of Eutaw, but they know how to play basketball and before too long perhaps there will more that just the locals at the bait shop that know it.