Headlines – 12/9/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Panolian Headlines: December 9, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 12/5/03  issue of The Panolian

A perfect season!
Tigers win state 5A championship
SPHS hammers Warriors 33-14
South Panola head football coach Ricky Woods was inundated with interviews and well-wishers Friday night following the state championship game. South Panola High School principal Del Phillips (back) watches as Woods receives a game ball.
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

After a five-year span, the 13th nationally ranked South Panola Tigers (15-0) dominated and crushed the Oak Grove Warriors (14-1) for the 5A State Championship 33-14, Friday, Dec. 5.

Oak Grove took the opening kickoff and knew from that point on, it had little hope of prevailing against the Tiger defense which has refused game after game this year to give.

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Playing a turnover-free game in close to freezing temperatures with winds gusting close to 20 miles per hour, this was the Tigers’ year to reign.
Over 14,000 fans from Panola County and Hattiesburg cheered on their respective teams as the two undefeated teams went helmet-to-helmet for the golden prize.

"I’m real proud of the team, coaches, band and the fans," said South Panola School District superintendent Dr. C.L. Stevenson. "It’s takes a big effort to come see the team play. It is good to see the crowd turn out to support the players."

South Panola is under the coaching direction of Ricky Woods. While at South Panola Woods has amassed a 29-1 record and has led the Tigers to the state championship game for the second straight year. Woods has 159 wins to highlight his 15-year coaching career.

This was Woods’ third state title but the first in 5A.

The Tigers got a burst of encouragement from senior center Quinton Hankins on the sidelines. Hankins’ season ended in a broken leg in the North State game against Starkville Nov. 28.

Hankins was rolled out in a wheelchair by offensive line coach Michael Fair. After a few minutes into the game, Hankins spent the remainder of the time on crunches near the action.

South Panola dominated Oak Grove in every area of the game. The Tigers rushed for 390 yards and passed for 68 for a total of 476 offensive yards and only allowed the Warriors 94 rushing yards and 181 passing yards.

Quarterback Derek Pegues scored one touchdown on 19 carries and 47 yards. He completed four of six passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

Tiger junior tailback Marcus Griffin got the nod to run the ball and rushed 34 times for 269 total yards and two touchdowns.

Wide receiver Travis Sanford caught two passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns.

This was the Tigers’ sixth trip to the state championship round and third time to be named champions. Other state championship were won in 1993 and 1998.

See complete game coverage on page B1 of today’s edition of The Panolian.


Fishermen Find Chevy Under Water
Batesville Fire Department Asst. Chief Jackie Chapman, right, and others watch Monday morning as a car is pulled from Sardis Lake. Fishermen hit the auto which was just under the surface of the low water.
By Kate B. Dickson

A couple of hearty Sardis Lake fishermen got more than they bargained for Monday morning when they landed a car instead of a fish.

The two – one from Tupelo and the other from Pontotoc – notified authorities shortly before 9 a.m. about their find.

As was first thought, the car turned out to be one that was run off into the water on Oct. 13, 2002, when a man was fleeing law enforcement officers, according to Sheriff’s Investigator Mark Whitten. The man jumped out safely and was arrested.

The vehicle, a 1986 maroon Chevrolet Celebrity, belonged to a relative of the arrested man, Whitten said.

Surveying the recovery effort, Park Ranger Jimbo Thompson said the fisherman’s boat hit the vehicle "and they saw the antenna sticking out of the water."

King and Queen
David Lavergne and Belinda Morris were crowned Batesville Citizens of the Year for 2003-2004 on Saturday night at the 30th Annual Batesville Jr. Auxiliary Charity Ball.

Lavergne is a vice-president at First Security Bank. Morris serves as the program director for the Boys and Girls Club, Inc, of Batesville.

The annual event was held at the Panola Country Club in Batesville. The Junior Auxiliary is a private, non-profit organization, whose sole purpose is to help meet the needs of underprivileged children.