| SP Tiger football team Honored With Banquet
BY MYRA BEAN
The state runner-up South Panola football team will be honored with a banquet Thursday, April 17 at South Panola High School.
The team went 14-1 in the 2002 season and lost the state championship to Wayne County in December.
"These guys have practiced and worked hard and we want to recognize them," said South Panola High School principal Dr. Del Phillips. "We hope the community will come out and support the players."
Tickets for the event are $6 per plate and must be ordered by Tuesday, April 15. For tickets contact the high school office at 563-4756. Corky’s Barbecue will cater the meal.
South Panola head football coach Ricky Woods will recognize the seniors and outstanding players.
Jack Crowe, head coach of the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks, is the guest speaker for the evening. David Saunders, head football coach at Millsaps, will introduce Crowe.
Crowe was hired as the 11th head football coach of JSU on Nov. 22, 1999.
A native of Birmingham, Crowe has coached over 30 years at some of the top programs in the country. During his career, he has worked at Auburn, Baylor, Arkansas, Clemson and Wyoming on the Division I level and also has college coaching stints at North Alabama and Livingston (now West Alabama).
Crowe got his start in coaching without playing college football. He played football and baseball at West End High School in Birmingham, then went to Jefferson State Junior College, where he stuck to baseball.
The banquet starts at 7 p.m.
| Factory Stores Readies for Annual Art & Soul 5K
Saturday at 9 a.m.
| The annual Art and Soul 5K Run will be Saturday, April 12, at 9 a.m. at the Factory Stores of Batesville.
Sponsored by the Northwest Delta Choral and Arts Council, the event always draws runners who are eager to test the course.
Signup is from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Registration before the day of the race is $12. On the day of the race registration is $15. Tee shirts will be issued to all who pre-register and while supply lasts on the day of the race.
Male and female runners are invited to take part and will be categorized in the following age divisions: 6-10, 11-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-59, 50-54, 55-59 and 60+.
There are awards for the overall male and female and the top three in each age group. Fruit and bottled water will be available for runners after the race.
A registration form is available on page B2 and may be sent to NW Delta Arts Council, PO Box 442, Sardis, MS 38666.
The Northwest Arts Council highly recommends that each participant discuss his/her level of fitness with his healthcare provider prior to participating in this event.
For more information, call Susan Wingert at 662-487-ART1 (2781) / 563-7195.
| Steeler Cornerback Townsend Proud of Big Brother
Deshea (l) Townsend is with his big brother Donnell Townsend, who is showing his Steelers pride.
Special to The Panolian – Reprinted with permission
BY TERESA VARLEY
PITTSBURGH – Deshea Townsend’s face lights up when he talks about his older brother Donnell. The smile goes from ear to ear. His eyes just sparkle.
After all, he is the big brother who introduced the Steelers cornerback to football. The one who let him know what full contact really means.
"I am very proud. That is my older brother," said Deshea. "He’s the one who taught me about football. He is a lot older and I would play football with him. I always tell the story of getting hit by him. It’s the first time I got the wind knocked out of me. I was seven and playing against him and he hit me like I was a grown man. That taught me a lesson about football."
Deshea is living out Donnell’s dream, playing in the NFL. But the older Townsend couldn’t be happier for his younger brother.
Deshea (l) and Donnell Townsend – with big brother showing his Steelers pride.
"He loves that his brother plays football," said Donnell’s wife Shelia. "He always says his brother is living out his dream. That’s what he wanted to do. He’s the oldest and he thought that he should have been doing it. He is just very proud of Deshea and everything the Steelers do. He brags about him all of the time.
| Rudd Signs 2-Year Deal
BY MYRA BEAN
BATESVILLE – National Football League player Dwayne Rudd of Batesville signed a two-year contract with the Superbowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Friday, April 4.
February 26, Rudd was released from his contract with the Cleveland Browns after playing there for two years.
According to NFL.com wire reports, Rudd is expected to compete for the starting strongside linebacker spot, vacated when free agent Al Singleton signed with Dallas last month.
"Overshadowed by a disastrous last-second penalty in the 2002 season opener when Rudd threw his helmet and cost the Cleveland Browns a victory is the fact the six-year veteran was a versatile and productive defender," said Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com.
After being released from Cleveland, Rudd also visited Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers last week. He took the weekend and made his decision which was announced Tuesday morning.
"With my history of playing in the NFL North against these guys during my first four years in Minnesota, it’s just a dream come true to be down here and play with one of the best defenses of the ?90s," Rudd told NFL.com.
Rudd entered the NFL as a first round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. He spent four years playing for the Vikings before signing with the Browns.
Though Rudd started 31 games at weakside linebacker for Cleveland over the last two years, he did play the strong side for Minnesota in 2000.
"It’s nice that we were able to add a veteran of Dwayne’s caliber to replace Al Singleton," said Bucs general manager Rich McKay. "Dwayne is a very athletic player and has been very productive over his years in the league. He should have no problem transitioning into our scheme."
The 6’2", 235 pound Rudd, owns 588 tackles and 28 passes defensed. Last season he started 15 games for the Browns and contributed 73 tackles, one sack and seven tackles for loss. He has started 77 career games in six NFL seasons.
In his career, Rudd has posted 11 1/2 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception.
The financial details of Rudd’s contract were not available.
The Tampa Bay Bucs pulled three Monday night games for the 2003 season and one Saturday game.
Rudd will keep his No. 57 as he begins his career with the Buccaneers.