Sports / Outdoors – 10/10/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2003

Panolian Sports Headlines: October 10, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 10/10/03  issue of The Panolian


SP Diamond Club Sells Pumpkins/Gourds
     for Indoor Hitting Facility

Future South Panola player, Brady Lott, son of Mark and Audra Lott, helped round up business as he sat among his grandparents’ pumpkins.
The newly formed South Panola Diamond Club is working feverishly to raise enough money to construct an indoor practice facility for the South Panola baseball team. The indoor facility is desperately needed to keep the boys in shape and healthy during the winter months.

Several of the team members helped harvest pumpkins and gourds at Hippie Hollow Tree Farm last weekend. Owners and Diamond Club members Mitzi and Chip Hardy agreed to split the profit from the sale of the pumpkins and gourds in return for the players’ and parents’ help in harvesting and selling them.

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The pumpkin stand will be set up each Saturday and Sunday in front of Shelter Insurance on Highway 6 East until they are gone.

Anyone interested in joining the Diamond Club or making a contribution to the building fund should contact Carrie Ann Davis at 563-6240 or 563-25347. The next meeting will be held Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the TVEPA building.

No. 1 Tigers Look to Tar and
     De-Feather No. 7 Falcons

BATESVILLE – The Associate Press Poll No. South Panola Tigers (6-0 overall, 2-0 district) remain the only undefeated team in North 5A. Oak Grove has that distinction in South 5A.

Provine (North), Wayne County and West Jones, both South, remain the only teams undefeated in 4A.

South Panola takes to the road to face the No. 7 Columbus Falcons (5-1 overall, 2-0 district) Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. game. Starkville (5-1 overall) also remains undefeated in the district, 2-0.

Columbus has had a bright season thus far. Its only loss came at the hand of Wayne County with a 13-0 shutout to start the season.

The very next week the Falcons had to face one of the toughest teams in 3A, Amory, and barely scraped out a 13-10 win. The third week the Falcons scraped out another three-point win over Noxubee County 15-12. The Falcons breezed through the next two games and then met up with Southaven last week.

That game was a breathholder until the end. Southaven led at the half 24-21 and then led 31-30 at the end of the third quarter. A Columbus 29-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the only score allowed, which gave the Falcons the win.

Big Challenge Faces Cougars Tonight


SARDIS – After two tough weeks on the road, the North Panola Cougars return home for another district matchup tonight.

The Cougars were 1-1 on the road for the past two games as they took a 19-12 victory from Tunica Rosa Fort Friday night.

Facing Rosa Fort had a little emotional factor to it as the Cougars faced former coaches Clifton Davis and Glen Newson. Both are assistant coaches at Rosa Fort. Davis was mistakenly mentioned as head coach.

The Cleveland East Side Trojans dropped from 4A into region 3-3A this year after realignment and are also playing seven of 10 new teams this season.

For the past two years, they have had mirror 5-5 records.

The Trojans started off the season with Greenville-Weston and lost 19-12. In other non-conference play, the Trojans went undefeated. When starting conference play, they were 3-1.

So far the Trojans own a 3-3 overall record, 0-2 conference record thanks to big losses to Cleveland 27-7 and to Senatobia just last week 44-7.

Cougar head coach Brown Walker said his team will have its hands full with the Trojans.


Green Wave dominates Bayou


North Delta’s Dustin Maples scored three touchdowns to lead the Green Wave to a 40-14 win over Bayou Academy, Friday night.

The Green Wave (3-3 overall, 2-1 district) traveled to take on this district foe in what was a very important game in the district and the Green Wave only have two district games left to play.

North Delta struck first on a 65 yard run by Dustin Maples into the endzone on the first offensive play of the game for the Green Wave. The extra point kick by Pittman Harrison was good. The Colts started the next play on their own 29 yard line because Clint Egbert stopped them.

The Colts had three penalties back to back on the next few plays and had to punt the ball with 6:20 left on the clock. The Green Wave struck again in the first quarter, when Forrest Wilbanks scored on a keeper for a touchdown with 4:40 left in the first quarter. The Green Wave lead 14-0 when Harrison’s kick was good.
The Colts had a hard time getting the ball down the field on their next possession because the Green Wave defense stepped up really big. Rocky Reed and Hal West stopped the Colts to make them punt again. The Green Wave took over 1st and 10 on their own 40 yard line. With 1:46 on the clock, Maples ran the ball about 60 yards into the endzone and the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty by the Green Wave to end the first quarter.


University of Tennessee-Martin starting Free Safety Chad McMahan (r) of Batesville defends an opponent in a recent game. Combined with his tackles on special teams, McMahan has the distinction of being the leading tackler on the team this season.

UT-Martin plays in Titan Stadium during home games. Chad related to his father and mother, Rick and Annette, that he wonders what pro player uses the locker he uses on game day.

UT-Martin will travel to Alabama to take on Jacksonville State tomorrow.  Kory Chapman of Batesville plays with Jacksonville State.

Rival Strider to Visit ND
     on Gridiron


BATESVILLE – Rival games take the intensity of the match to another level. The intensity is best played out on the gridiron.

That will hopefully be the scenario when North Delta hosts neighboring 2-A Strider Academy (5-2 overall, 4-0 district) of Charleston tonight in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Green Wave (3-3 overall, 2-1 district) is coming off two big road wins to Marshall Academy and Bayou Academy.

The past two weeks North Delta has outscored opponents 68-28.

In the standings, the Green Wave are second in the district behind Marvell who has a 3-0 district record. The Green Wave will host Marvell next week.

Strider comes to town coached by Joe Bradshaw who holds the record as the winningest coach in Mississippi with 346 overall wins. At Strider Academy he has 277 wins.

Strider went 11-1 last year and lost in the North Half round of playoffs to Wayne Academy 21-20.

This year the team has 17 players and is still going strong.

Green Bay or Bust


My usual wish for any game actually happened last weekend.

I always hope for an interesting game with at least six or seven over time periods.

Arkansas at Alabama was decided after only two but it was more than interesting to say the least. It looked like a bright day full of sunshine all the way until 15 minutes before the scheduled kickoff time of 2:34 p.m. CDT.

CBS always has its people in each tunnel with the teams to run them out at the right time for TV and just as they were ready to send the teams running out, I saw some lightning in the dark clouds that were rapidly approaching.

Then Penn Wagers, our referee, stepped out and made the announcement that the teams are being sent back to their locker rooms due to the lightning in the area.

The stadium management people had already made an announcement that the area was under a thunderstorm warning for about the next 45 minutes. Clearing the field and delaying the game, not to mention CBS and their national network schedule is not something that is done lightly.

It was in an Ole Miss at Alabama game back in the mid-90’s when a TV cameraman was struck by lightning and ended up suing everyone from the NCAA and SEC to the Referee. He (the cameraman) lived but there’s just another reason for being cautious.

There are basic guidelines in both the NCAA rulebook and the SEC Game Management manual that we all have. The concern is not for rain but for the danger of any associated lightning.

We have no control over the spectators in the stadium and that is left up to game management. As long as they let everyone know what is up they are covered.

The basic guideline is that if lightning is seen and then the thunder is heard within 30 seconds, clear the field. If the flash to bang time is less than 30 seconds, shut it down.

Then the procedure is to wait at least 30 minutes after the last seen lightning before allowing the game to continue. It is basically a conservative method and is a good rule of thumb to remember for any outdoor activity.

I was explaining to the producers what was going on but they were sending Arkansas out anyway. Then as we stopped the team on the field and sent them back, CBS understood we were serious.

I explained the previous drill to them and then told them I was going to stay with the referee and game management people and would let them know what was going on as soon as possible.

Then all that could be heard on the headsets was the producers telling Vern and Todd to fill with anything on delays while they went back to New York for some updates.

I took sideline reporter Jill Arrington, their sideline producer and cameraman with me to the Alabama tunnel where the referee was at that time so they could talk to him. Penn had a lot on him at that point but I did remind him to smile pretty for television.

The stadium management people have representatives in the press box from the National Weather Service for just such a situation and they were talking to the people watching the area radar. We watched the skies for lightning and when a nearby bolt was seen, the time was noted.

Finally the last lightning was seen, the NWS people said it was all moving out with nothing behind it but clear skies.

Then it was time to start notifying both coaches, the rest of the officials and CBS of when the teams were to come back out. Typically, both are given 15 minutes to warm up after such an occurrence but both coaches agreed to shorten that to 12 (CBS had nothing to do with that decision, by the way).

We walked the captains for the toss and got it all going with a total delay of one hour and four minutes. And it proceeded to be a great game.
I had told the CBS people before the game I figured at least six overtimes and as we were getting ready for both, I made sure they remembered my prediction.

I don’t ever say anything much about the game before it starts other than I hope it’s a good one but this time I did make it known I thought it was looking like a strange day at Bama and there would be overtime.

As Arkansas was getting ready to kick the game-winning field goal in the second overtime, the sideline producer and Jill both laughed and told me I was right.

What more could I say?……See you next week.