Sykes Remembered Fondly

By: Andrea Williams and Stan Torgerson
By: Andrea Williams and Stan Torgerson

In the wake of his death, his legacy lives on.

Work on the Q.V. Sykes Baseball Complex is full swing, and on schedule to be finished by the end of the year.

Located on what was formally Lover's Lane, but now named in Syke's honor, county officials say the complex will have three state-of-the arts ball fields as was Syke's dream.

"Coach was really an inspiration for this facility being a reality. As a matter of fact, when we did our road bond issue two years ago. he told me to make sure we saved enough money in that bond issue so we could build the roads. We will build the roads in here with Coach's bond money," county officials said.

Not only did Supervisor Sykes work for the county, Meridian City Councilman Jesse Palmer said he was also an avid supporter of city affairs.

"There were many roads that I didn't have the money to get paid and he came in and did it. For instance 49th Avenue is paved because of him. Arthur Street, 36th. Avenue, a number of places are paved because of his coming in and cooperating with me," said Palmer.

Aside from within the political arena Sykes also made his mark in the community. For 32-years he worked with the Meridian Public School District. First at the former T.J. Harris High School and then Carver Middle School as a Physical Education instructor and basketball coach.

It was during those years that he affectionately became known as "Coach."

Family members say Coach Sykes also helped spearhead the effort to move the East Mississippi Boys and Girls Club to its current larger location on 45th Avenue. Along with other after-school, weekend and summer basketball programs those who know him best say Coach Sykes was dedicated to children.

With construction of the new baseball complex, no doubt those efforts will continue for years to come. At age 68 Coach Q.V. Sykes gone but not forgotten.

Funeral services for Coach Sykes will be held Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Meridian. Visitation will also be held Wednesday morning from 9 until 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

With Coach Sykes passing comes the question of what now for the Ward Four seat. The law calls for the board of supervisors to within 10 days declare the office open.

They will meet tomorrow at 5 p.m. and will likely do that. At that point the board by a majority vote, which would mean a three to one margin, can and probably will appoint someone to temporarily fill the office.

They will then officially set the election, which will be Nov. 5.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Sept. 6 to file and qualify for that election. It should be noted the runoff rule will apply to the Nov. 5 election.

If no one wins a majority, that is 50 percent plus one vote, there will be a runoff two weeks later.

If someone does win, as soon as the election commission certifies the result, the winning candidate can be sworn in for the remainder of Coach Sykes term.


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