Terry Sikes will be missed by us all

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 6, 2001

Sports Columnist

Troy lost an outstanding citizen last Sunday when Terry Sikes died at Flowers Hospital in Dothan.

I watched Terry grow up in Troy and use to marvel at his skills as a catcher in the recreation baseball leagues.

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He became on of Troy’s best ever baseball players as he starred for Coach Mike Hogan and Butch Austin at Charles Henderson High School in the late 70s and early 80s.

He signed a scholarship to play for George Wallace Community College in Dothan after high school. He played for Sammy Fricter’s team that won the State Junior College Championship in 1984.

"He was a excellent catcher, who worked pitchers as well as any I’ve ever pitched too and I played two years at Troy State," said good friend and former teammate Mike Lott. "He was so good that Macky Sasser was able to play shortstop." Sasser, of course, later played catcher in the major leagues with the New York Mets.

Sasser was one of many of Terry’s friends and former teammates that I saw at Dilliard Funeral Home on Tuesday night. Terry always took pride in being from Troy and if you were around him very long, the topic would always turn to baseball.

He was so proud of the 1984 championship team at Wallace State especially since four of his good buddies and teammates from Troy started in that title game.

Lott was on the mound, Sikes was behind the plate, Arthur Dease was in leftfield and Alec White was in centerfield. Another former CHHS teammate, Mike Benton, also played a lot on that team.

His love for baseball and his ability to play at the college level opened a lot of doors for Terry.

"He was as solid as they came and a great leader on our baseball team," former coach Mike Hogan said. "Terry was one of the best defensive catchers I have ever seen in high school baseball. He was a class individual."

Terry stayed involved with his favorite pastime all the way up to his death. He had coached in the recreation leagues for years.

"He was as knowledgeable about the game of baseball as anyone that’s ever coached in our leagues," said Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith. "He was a great role model for these kids."

Sikes was head coach of the CHHS junior varsity and assistant varsity coach. CHHS head baseball coach Steve Garrett said, "Terry’s death has affected all of us. All the players and coaches loved him and we won’t be the same without him. We’ve not only lost a good coach, but a very good friend.

"We’ll move on from here, but his presence in our baseball program will be felt now and for years to come," Garrett said.

What more appropriate gesture by Terry’s wife, Jennifer, and the CHHS baseball team that he be buried in his Trojan uniform with a baseball, signed by every player and coach, in his hand.

That was Terry all the way. He loved his wife and family, his friends, and Trojan baseball.

Every time we’d talk, I found Terry to be so proud of his players and the CHHS baseball program. He’d have something good to say about all of them. He was living the life he wanted to live with his loving wife Jennifer and a son to be born in July. I’m sure that boy would be so proud of his father. I’m looking forward to watching young Jackson "Trott" Sikes develop into a young man one day. I can’t wait to tell him what a fine man his daddy was. I hope the good Lord will offer me that chance.

The Charles Henderson baseball program voted to play Carroll of Ozark Monday night to honor Coach Sikes and honor him they did with a come from behind 4-3 victory.

"This one’s for Coach Sikes," CHHS senior Will Jones said.

The Troy Baseball Foundation has announced that two special funds have been set up at SouthTrust Bank in the name of Terry Wade Sikes. One fund sets up a Terry Sikes Scholarship that will be presented to a senior baseball player at CHHS each year. The second fund will go toward the education of Terry’s unborn son, "Trott", and future expenses of the Sikes family.

What a wonderful blessing it was to have known Terry Sikes and what a wonderful feeling it is to see friends come to his family’s aid.

Only in Troy, Alabama can you find this kind of love.