Sports / Outdoors – 9/30/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Panolian Sports Headlines: September 30, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 9/30/03  issue of The Panolian


SP Defense Ruins Homecoming
South Panola defensive players Richard Mitchell (l) and Connie Shegog wrap up a Horn Lake Eagle runner Friday night all good and tight. The Tigers romped over Horn Lake 52-6.

The No. 1 South Panola Tigers (5-0 overall, 1-0 district) proved why they have that ranking as they downed the Horn Lake Eagles 52-6 last Friday night.

Though a cold front was expected to move through and cool down the temperatures, it was a hot and humid night as the Eagles crowned their homecoming queen.

Even though both teams controlled the clocked equally, 24:35 Tigers and 23:25 Eagles, the Tiger offense did not have as much trouble with the defense as the Eagles’ offense.

The Tigers rushed for 468 yards and passed for 126 yards for a total of 594 yards.

Not only did the Tiger standouts perform as expected, backup players stepped up and performed as well.

Starting tailback Marcus Griffin scored two touchdowns on 91 yards and 11 carries to lead the team. Quarterback Derek Pegues set his own career record with six of seven completed passes for 126 yards and one touchdown.

Wide receiver Michael McKinney scored his first touchdown of the year and also pulled down his first interception of the year.

Richard Mitchell is on a record setting pace as he pulled down his fifth interception of the year.

Eagle Anyone?
South Panola mascots Stephen Reynolds (l) and Anna Newcomb "cooked" up a little something on the sidelines to keep the fans going in the South Panola vs. Horn Lake game Friday night.

Referee Notes

One associated job we really hate before and during a game is being the "fashion police" and constantly telling the players to get their jerseys tucked in and the knees covered.

In NCAA rules, after a warning or two, the offender’s team can be charged with a timeout while the coach instructs him on how to get his knees covered or his jersey tucked in and how he just lost his scholarship for being so dumb.

Nothing looks worse to me than some huge lineman with jersey and t-shirt hanging out over his pants. Looks sort of like a dress is what I tell them.

In NCAA rules now the only option is for the jersey to be completely tucked in the pants. The high school rule is what the NCAA rule used to be – the jersey length has to come to the belt and if it is any longer than the belt, it has to be tucked in.

I remember one Alabama at Arkansas game in 1996 when then Bama Coach Gene Stallings went completely ballistic when the Umpire told him half of his team was illegal and could not play because their jerseys were about four inches above their belts.

I wrote down the numbers as the Umpire called them out to me and then I was told to give the list to Coach Stallings. I remember thinking what have I gotten myself into as he snatched the list from me.

This was my first year in the SEC so I was a might nervous. What was really amazing about the whole deal was that when Alabama came out just before kickoff, all jerseys were of the proper length. I swear some coaches? lie in bed at night and think of ways to bend or get around rules or maybe just to irritate us.

One thing we cover in the pre-game meeting with the coaches is "are all their players legally equipped and have they been instructed in the correct use of their equipment."

They always say yes but when watching warm-ups in a few minutes is when we see the pants too short and jerseys hanging out. The standard deal from the trainers is they will be all fixed before game time. We still have to remind them.

Last Saturday visiting the head coaches in their dressing rooms at the Swamp, Coach Fulmer and Zook both made their usual statement, "Yes they’ve all been told but it’s a battle to be sure they do it."

Then Coach Zook said the NFL has it best. They have a picture in the dressing room of how the uniform is to be worn with no deviations and it is a minimum $5,000 fine if they are seen on the field with socks down or jersey hanging out.

And since some of these high-dollar players could care less about a "small" fine like that, Zook mentioned a few teams had taken better control of it all by not just taking the money out of the player’s check but they also have a staff member call the offender’s wife or significant other to personally inform her of the deduction. That took care of it and made the worst offenders start caring more about how they look on the field.

As officials we always try to look perfect. Some of us even take more than a few minutes in front of a mirror being sure our fitted cap is on just right. Our shoes are always shiny even if for a few seconds before working in a rainstorm. The idea is that if we look like we mean business, a large part of the battle for respect is won.

That’s why I always hate to see high school or junior college officials working a game in shorts. If I get the chance, I’ll ask them what soccer game are they working?

It’s okay for officials to wear shorts for scrimmages or practice but when it’s game time the full uniform should be worn. We make sure the players are all legal and there are the officials with shorts on.

And I will say there are lot of guys who shouldn’t be seen in public in shorts. I try to tell them but they just keep on whining about how hot it is.


I can guarantee you officials in shorts will never be seen in a major college game. Even though it is in the rulebook as a "summer uniform" not one Division I association allows them.

There’s a lot of good football going on in the neighborhood so get off the couch and go see it live and in person. The intensity just can’t be felt through a TV…..See you next week.


ND Rebounds With Win Over Marshall
Cody Hallmark’s Return Contributes to Big District Win
This diving tackle by North Delta’s Patrick Ellis brought down the Marshall runner Friday night. The Green Wave defeated Marshall 28-14 for the district win.


At one time fullback/linebacker Cody Hallmark was not expected to finish the season due to an ankle injury, but he returned to the Green Wave lineup Friday night and provided the catalyst for the Green Wave win.

"Cody Hallmark got to play tonight and he is an inspiration to us," Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston said. "He is kind of our leader. He kind of picks everybody else up.

"Cody made a big play for us," Johnston continued. "He got an interception and was able to run it in the endzone. We thought his season was over with and he is getting to play and nobody is happier about it than I am."

The North Delta Green Wave rushed for 221 yards in route to a 28-14 defeat of district rival Marshall Academy, Friday, September 26.

Quarterback Forrest Wilbanks completed three of nine passes for 27 yards and scored on an eight-yard keeper and a four-yard keeper to lead the team in touchdowns.

The Green Wave (2-3 overall, 1-1 district) paid a visit to the Patriot’s field in hopes of improving their district record. Marvell still leads the district with a 2-0 record.

Kirk Academy fell to 2-1 in the district after losing to West Memphis 51-30 last Friday night. Bayou, West Memphis and North Delta all have 1-1 district records and Marshall stands in last place with a 0-3 record after this game with North Delta. The Green Wave have three remaining district games to play.

Cougars Succumb to Wildcat Defense


It was a frustrating end to a good game for the North Panola Cougars (2-3 overall, 1-1 district) as they fell to the Independence Wildcats 12-7 Friday night.

Independence struck first on an 80-yard opening kickoff return with only 15 seconds ticked off the clock. The extra point kick failed and the Wildcats led 6-0.

The Cougars did not give up as Dexter Thomas picked up a fumble and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown with 4:14 left in the first quarter. After A.J. Johnson’s extra point kick, the Cougars led 7-6.

The Wildcats drove the ball down the field and scored on a five-yard pass reception with 5:44 left in the first half. The two-point conversion failed and the score stood 12-7 at halftime.

Lady Tigers Down Coldwater 15-5


The South Panola slow pitch softball team rebounded from its loss to Grenada by winning 15-5 over the Coldwater Cougars last Tuesday.

Jessica Anderson gave the Lady Tigers plenty of support as she knocked out a homerun in the first and fourth innings.

This win put the Lady Tigers’ record at 5-8. The Tigers haven’t had a perfect season, but definitely played an amazing game.

"We hit the ball," said head coach Kim Wilson. "For the first time in many games we hit the ball."

The Tigers showed dominance early in the first inning by attacking the Cougar defense.

Sara Yawn, Tiger pitcher, struck out the first Cougar batter before two others got caught making runs for second.



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