Park Place Christian Academy (PPCA) recently announced a change in Football Coaching staff upon the retirement of Head Football Coach Doug Elkins. Pictured left to right is PPCA JH Football Coach and science teacher Corey McElveen, Varsity Football Assistant Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Computer Tech instructor Zach Miller, PPCA Head of School and new Head Football Coach Jason Cook, newly hired Offensive Line Coach J. Mike Smith and his son Hunter Smith, and PPCA Assistant Athletic Director and Delta State Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Barrett.
PEARL – Park Place Christian Academy (PPCA) recently announced to its students, faculty, and families that PPCA Head of School Jason Cook will coach Varsity Football next season for the Crusaders.
In a statement made by Dr. Darren Scoggin, PPCA School Board Chairperson, the decision was made when it became known that Coach Doug Elkins was retiring after six years as Head Football Coach.
“The School Board, along with Park Place Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Keith Grubbs, began to think and pray about the next steps moving forward,” stated Dr. Scoggin.
“(He) is no stranger to athletics or to coaching,” continued Scoggin. “He has coached schools through championship seasons as well as coaching schools through periods of building up programs.”
“We feel that we have a unique opportunity to utilize our Head of School, Mr. Jason Cook, to function also as Head Football Coach,” said Scoggin.
As a former coach at PPCA, Mr. Cook knows well how to incorporate faith onto the field,” he continued.
Cook is no stranger to athletics, having coached for Jackson Prep, Mendenhall High School, Ridgeland High School, and Richland High School before coming to PPCA for 2015 season.
While at Richland, Cook led the Rangers to the playoffs in 2014.
Cook will continue the role of Head of School at PPCA, but his duties of Athletic Director will transfer to PPCA’s current Assistant AD, Coach Bobby Barrett.
In addition to that staff change, Cook announced that Coach J. Mike Smith will be joining PPCA’s Varsity Football program in the position of offensive line coach.
Coach Smith is best known for his coaching stops in Wingfield High School, his eight years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, and his 22 years at Hinds Community College.
While at Hinds, Smith helped lead the Eagles to four state championships.
Additionally, Smith coached many players who went on to play at the senior college level and has also coached players who played in the NFL
“It’s exciting,” said Coach Bobby Barrett whose own coaching experience with Central Hinds Academy saw the football field named for him.
“Coach Smith’s going to bring a lot of experience to our program,” said Barrett. “We were teammates in the Junior College All-Star game, then ended up as roommates at Delta State.”
Barrett will be recognized April 8 at a banquet honoring those who were recently inducted into Delta State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
“We’re blessed to have Coach Barrett and J. Mike Smith as part of our PPCA Athletics family,” said Cook.
Also continuing as part of PPCA’s coaching staff are Zach Miller as Assistant Head Football Coach and Defensive Coordinator and Corey McElveen who will coach Junior High Football.
The change in coaching personnel comes as the PPCA embarks on its second phase of growth, having broken ground on a new softball/baseball field last month, even as the grass plantings on the combination soccer/football field have taken hold.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to lead PPCA’s Varsity football team,” said Cook. “Lots of good things are happening with our athletics program, including the development of the new soccer/football field.”
Cook confirmed that, although there may be soccer games played by girls next summer on the new field, all home football games for the Crusaders will still be played at H.F. Shepherd Field in Pearl.
“We’re dependent upon many factors,” said Cook. “To play home football games on PPCA’s campus will depend upon the availability of construction labor as well as funding, resources, equipment, and supplies in this COVID era.”
“It’s a great time to be a Crusader,” said Cook. “We’re looking forward to what the Lord has in store for PPCA as we strive to please Him in all we do.”
For more information about the K3-12G school that is an educational and evangelical ministry of Park Place Baptist Church, please contact Admissions Director Mrs. Sunny McGehee by calling 601-939-6229, or emailing email@example.com.
To learn more about the athletic opportunities, contact Mr. Jason Cook or Coach Bobby Barrett by calling the Athletic Department, 601-939-6229, ext. 212.