Sports / Outdoors – 9/2/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Panolian Sports Headlines: September 2, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 9/2/03  issue of The Panolian

Referee Notes By William Correro    

"And they’re off!" Week one is in the books as you read this. As I write this, it’s still a few days away. That’s the one thing I hate about a weekly piece: the time lag from when I write to when you all see it.

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As always, I’m hoping the SEC will win all the non-conference match ups and for Ole Miss at Vanderbilt, I hope it’s great game for your team and TV.

Speaking of TV, the SEC opens strong with six of the 11 games of week one on TV, five of those six are national TV too. We have one on CBS, one on Jefferson Pilot, another on ESPN and three on ESPN2. Name another league with that kind of coverage.

CBS and I get to see what Trojans look like up close down on the Plains of Auburn. We’ll talk more about that one when I get back. It never fails whenever Auburn is on CBS and I’m in the game, Coach T always gripes at me about the TV breaks.

CBS has more structured breaks than anyone else so he’ll be in good form. If possible, I’ll tell what he says but don’t count on a direct quote. This is a family paper.

I usually try to listen in on some of the sports talk radio around our area when I’m driving and after a few consecutive days of listening, I guess it’s time for the season’s first ascent of the soapbox.

I listen just to see what might be said about the SEC and the game I’ll be in. But then after just a few minutes it doesn’t take long to realize the bulk of their show is specifically directed to those who bet on sports. I could care less if you go over to the boats and have a good time; that is not what I’m going off on here.

I get sick of hearing these commercials for these "Sports Services" by the same people doing the show. "Check out our success rate" or "Are you just going to throw your money away again this season?" and on and on.

What they are saying is simply: "If you’ll pay us several hundred dollars to subscribe to our tip service, you’ll win your bets 70 percent of the time."

And no matter how it is said, betting on any sport is illegal except in Vegas. A few years ago they were advertising these "off shore" betting services where from the comfort of your own home you call in your bet. Well, it never was and still is illegal.

I haven’t heard any of those "off shore" ads lately, by the way. But these "tip services" they push on the listener promising to be "in the know" about who will win a particular game all for a hefty fee is worse than bad simply because they promote illegal sports betting.

It’s like these places that sell cigarette-rolling papers. How many people have you seen these days roll their own with legal tobacco?

The reason I go off on this from time to time is I do realize, as should any intelligent person and true sports fan, how this illegal activity could do nothing but harm college athletics and the pros as well.

Don’t believe me? Ask any baseball fan in Chicago. The FBI has told us all of this first hand at our meetings and the NCAA has a video that all players are required to see every year. It demonstrates how easy it would be for organized crime to "hook" a player and then have him alter the outcome of a game.

And it has happened in the past. Couple that with what has happened lately with some coaches and players of prominence such as Rick Neuheisel and Pete Rose. So just think about all of that the next time you make that phone call and place your bet on a football game.

When you do, remember you just made a bunch of FBI guys real mad. These guys take their job seriously. This I know because one of our official’s day job is a FBI agent. And I sure wouldn’t want him after me.

I heard that the Big 10 Conference is going to experiment with instant replay this season. It will be a test to see how it could work in real games. They won’t overturn any calls this season; rather they will look at calls during some TV games to evaluate and see how it would work in real game use.

They will use network TV shots for the replay officials. To me, that is reason enough not to even try to kick over that anthill. What about a game that is not on TV? I can guarantee you that there are NCAA Division 1AA and Division II games that are equally important as Michigan and Ohio State.

And probably more interesting too. But these smaller school programs (A) Aren’t on TV with any regularity and (B) can’t afford to have cameras and replay equipment of their own.

The NFL has their own equipment which is very, very expensive state of the art stuff that only they can afford. Besides, just look at the SEC TV line up and you’ll see that not too many of those "other" games will be televised anyway. Sure is good to be back at it……See you next week.

8,500 Watch SP Tigers
     Shutout Clarksdale 43-0
Pegues Led Tigers with 4 Touchdowns
South Panola wide receiver Jeremy Jones scrambles for a few yards after this 11-yard reception against Clarksdale Thursday night. Wildcat defensive back Dewayne Profit stops Jones at the nine yard line and saves the touchdown. The Tigers did score two plays later.
The South Panola defense was very stingy with the Clarksdale offense Thursday night. Tiger linebacker Jamarca Sanford (l) pulls down Wildcat fullback Jeremy Williams with the help of defensive ends Kendrell Barksdale, No. 92, and John Jerry, No. 93.

BATESVILLE – A stingy defense and a scrambling quarterback added up to a 43-0 demise for the Clarksdale Wildcats in South Panola Tiger territory Thursday night.

Over 8,500 people attended the game in Tiger stadium, packing both the new home side and the visitor’s side.

Tiger quarterback Derek Pegues scrambled for four short-yardage touchdowns to lead the Tiger team to victory.

The Tiger defense on the other hand only allowed Clarksdale 91 total yards for the evening, while the Tiger offense piled up 278 yards. Clarksdale lost all three of their fumbles to the Tiger defense.

This long awaited game was riding high on emotions on both sides, but when the Tiger team came out to play excitement on the Clarksdale side dimmed quick.

"The kids played great," Tiger head coach Ricky Woods said. "They were ready to play and worked hard getting to this point."

After the opening kickoff by Clarksdale, the Tiger players were saying "It’s on."

When the Tigers had a 29-0 lead at the end of the third quarter and the first team players retired for the rest of the game, they stood on the bench and sang, "We love our Tigers."

Rangers Prepare to Open Season Thurs.

After almost four weeks of preparation, the Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers will kick off their 2003 season by hosting the Hinds Eagles in Senatobia. The contest is set to begin at 7 p.m., with live radio coverage provided by WQLJ FM 93.7.

Northwest, ranked pre-season No. 3 in the country by the NJCAA and No. 7 by Street & Smith’s College Football magazine, hopes to improve on last year’s 5-4 overall record, its worst campaign since the 1984 season. The Rangers will rely on 23 lettermen, including two transfers from four-year universities. According to football coaches in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, Northwest is picked to win the north division by earning six first-place votes. Hinds was chosen to place third in the south division.

"We are pretty banged up for a team that has yet to play a game," said Northwest Head Coach Bobby Franklin, who enters his 23rd season at the helm of the Rangers with a career record of 186-53-6. "There won’t be any room for excuses when Thursday night rolls around, so we have to be ready. We are excited about our team and look forward to the season."

Northwest and Hinds have met 36 times on the gridiron since 1965, with the Rangers holding a 20-14-2 lead in the series. The Eagles’ 28-24 victory last season in Raymond snapped Northwest’s three-game win streak against Hinds. The Rangers have won 10 of their last 12 season-opening games.

Like Northwest, Hinds is coming off a 5-4 campaign. The Eagles are led by first-year Head Coach Mike Smith, who replaced long-time Head Coach Gene Murphy, who resigned after 20 seasons at Hinds.