Former SHS player Monaghan coaches another state 6A title

Mark Monaghan
Staff Writer

Mark Monaghan became a state championship baseball coach with the help of lessons learned as a player at Starkville High School.

From 1994-98, Monaghan played for coach Danny Carlisle with the Yellowjackets and that instruction has helped him win his second state championship at DeSoto Central.

Monaghan’s Jaguars won two out of three games from George County for the Class 6A title. DeSoto Central won the third game 10-1 last Saturday in Pearl.

The Jaguars also won a state championship in 2015 under Monaghan's leadership, but he said this year was different.

“It was a great team that kind of had a different identity than the 2015 team that won it,” Monaghan said. (The 2015 team had) so many big power arms. (This year’s team) hit their way there and kind of proved that with how they swung it in that game three. We didn’t do it with any big power arms, but guys who knew how to pitch, threw strikes and we were able to swing it pretty well one through nine.”

Carlisle was proud to see Monaghan win another state championship and for the coach he’s become.

“He’s an outstanding young man and an excellent baseball coach,” Carlisle said. “He’s got that passion for the game. It started back when he was in the ninth grade and even in junior high. He started for me as a freshman and was an outstanding player. He’s just a great role model for those kids up there and I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Monaghan said he got to visit with Carlisle during the Starkville-Tupelo playoff series this year and said the time together was “special.”

Along with the two titles, the Jaguars also reached the state championship series under Monaghan in 2014.

Monaghan was quick to say the success at DeSoto Central goes beyond what he has done.

“It’s a product of an outstanding coaching staff and players that are just selfless in every way,” Monaghan said. “It has little to do with me and a lot to do with other special individuals that’s for sure.”