Friday, April 1, 2011

Noal Akins retiring from Mississippi House of Representatives

    The Oxford Eagle reports that Noal Akins is will not be a candidate for re-election to his District 12 House seat. Akins, a Republican, has held the seat for eight years.
    “I’ve been down here eight years and although it’s been a good eight years for me and we have accomplished a good bit, there are some things we didn’t accomplish that I would have liked to,” Akins told the Eagle
    Akins said he is most pleased with the tort reform changes made in 2004 and the work done toward developing economic growth. Education is one area he said he wishes more could be done.
    I talked to a legislator in another state recently, and this has been a tough year to be an elected official. It simply is not a pleasant task to deal with the kind of budget problems that states are facing these days, and I'm sure lot's of elected officials will be headed home to get some rest.
    My first memory of "Coach" Akins was when he served as coach of the newly formed Marshall Academy in 1968, back when we held classes at the First Baptist Church. The old parsonage was still standing and the Harrisons lived there. Anyone remember the old Chinese chestnut tree that would drop its spiky balls onto the playground, and how we would throw them at each other?
    Anyway, back to my first memory. Coach Akins had our third-grade class for P.E., which was held behind the church where the parking lot is now. Everyone was cutting up and finally he had enough and shouted, "That does it, I don't want to hear another peep out of a single one of you."
    Naturally I hesitated all of one-half second before giving a loud "PEEP!" A paddle wasn't available so he used a yard stick. I don't think it really hurt, but I guess it made the point, because I remember it to this day.
    Coach Akins led the Marshall Academy Patriots to several basketball state championships. He loved coaching basketball, although his doctors told him it wasn't the best thing for his heart. He later became headmaster at M.A. and we were told to call him "Mister" Akins, but we will always think of him as Coach Akins, and it is with great respect.
    He has served Marshall County, Northwest, Oxford and Lafayette County well. He says he will continue to be active in the community after he retires, and that is a lucky thing for all of us.
    So, to Coach Akins, I offer my congratulations on retirement, and a thank you for many jobs well done.

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