By Angie Ledbetter
The 4-0 North Delta Green Wave will host its biggest rival tonight in a non-conference game when the 3A Magnolia Heights Chiefs come to town at 7:30 p.m. This is only the second home game since the season started for the Green Wave team. The Green Waves are coming off of a huge district win last week, dominating Carroll Academy 46-7.
"This is a big week for us," Green Wave head coach Rick Johnston said. "Magnolia Heights is a big rival game and it is going to be a lot of folks out here tonight. It is good for both schools and hopefully, you will see a good football game tonight. We want to play well. The kids are motivated. If we keep getting better week by week, and keep working hard, then anything can happen."
"We will be tested this week against Magnolia Heights," added Johnston.
The Chiefs are under the senior leadership of quarterback Russ Sneed.
"Sneed is a heck of an athlete. He will be tough to contain. Sneed has a big time arm. We are going to definitely have to have our "A" game," Johnston said.
The last couple of years, the Chiefs have come out on top and the Green Wave are looking to turn that around tonight. The need for revenge has built up for the Green Wave team and it plans to come out with a win. Last year the Chiefs defeated North Delta in Senatobia 35-19.
The two schools are about 25 miles apart. Both schools have Panola county students. These students share friendships that go back for several years. Not only do the students share long time friendships, but so do the coaches.
Johnston attended school with Chiefs head coach Cliff Young and they are long time friends. Johnston also is friends with coach Tim Beard, who coached at North Delta for several years and Johnston was part of that coaching staff. Coach Bobby Bouchillon coached at North Delta with Johnston up until about three years ago, and he went to Magnolia Heights.
The Green Wave, 4-0 overall, 2-0 district, are ranked No. 2 under Indianola Academy, who is also undefeated, in District 1-AA.
The Chiefs are 1-1 overall, 0-1 in district play. The Chiefs have had two bye weeks since the season started. They are ranked No. 2 under Oak Hill Academy in District 1-AAA. They defeated Marshall Academy 49-14 earlier in the season on August 27. They lost to Jackson Academy last week in Senatobia 35-26.
"It came down to the wire last week," said Johnston. "It was a two point game with about two minutes left to go in the game. JA is one of the best teams in the MPSA, according to people that I have talked to. They got beat by MRA the first game of the season, but probably should have won that game. The ball didn’t bounce quite their way. JA has some big time athletes and Magnolia Heights stood in there and played them tough. Magnolia Heights has some talented kids and I am sure they are going to be motivated tonight, just like we are."
The pep rally is at 2:30 p.m. in the gym.
By Myra Bean
SARDIS – 2004 has not been very good to the North Panola Cougars.
The excitement of having a new, experienced, talented coach keeps the team coming back out each week.
The Cougars have fallen to 0-3 for the season. Two of those games the Cougars expected to come out on top.
Last week, North Panola lost to Holly Springs, a team they had defeated two years straight.
Cougar head coach Demetrius Hills said he is still a little down following the end of the non-conference season. North Panola still has one non-conference game scheduled for the last game of the season against Lafayette County.
"In two of those games we should have done a lot better than we did. We should have put the one away Friday. We really matched up well with that team. We should have won that game," Hill said.
The Cougars were ahead at one point in the game, but Holly Springs completed some passes and found the end zone.
" It was just a couple of key pass plays on defense that we gave up that the guy ran for a touchdown," Hill said.
Now with the game on tap tonight in Marks against M.S. Palmer, the team’s expectations are high.
North Panola defeated Palmer 37-6 last year.
"Going into the conference season, it’s looking promising," Hill said. "We match up well with a lot of the teams we are playing. If we do what we are supposed to do and not make the mistakes we have been making, we will be fine."
Palmer has had its share of tough luck this year also. Under the coaching direction of Eugene Lamberth of Batesville, Palmer is 0-2-1. The first game of the season ended in a 0-0 tie with Coahoma AHS. They lost to Drew 23-6 and last week to West Tallahatchie 32-0.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
"The kids are excited about it," Hill continued. "They are relaxed. We went back and watched the film from the Friday night game and they realize we can be pretty good."
By Myra Bean
BATESVILLE – It is amazing what three years can do to a team.
When the Greenville Hornets entered 1-5A district in 2001, they defeated South Panola 21-14 and stopped the Tigers 11-year winning season and postseason appearance streak.
The Tigers rallied from that loss and has posted bigger wins over Greenville the last two years, 35-14 in 2002 and last year’s 75-9 win.
Last year was pretty embarrasing as the Tigers did whatever they will with the Hornets.
The Greenville team is still very athletic, according to Tiger assistant coach Michael Fair.
"They run real fast and teams have to be wary of them. They can beat any team any night if they work together," Fair said.
Greenville has not done very well this season. They come into the game with a 0-3 record. They have lost to 3A Eastside 18-13, and two 4A teams, Greenwood 8-0 and Clarksdale, 48-7 last week.
"Clarksdale jumped on them early," Fair said. "That’s what we plan to do: come out the gate and play real hard. Then we will see where it goes from there."
With an athletic team that can strike at any time, Fair said they have to prepare for a team like that.
The Tigers are having a Prince Charming of a year so far.
They top the Associated Press Polls and The Clarion-Ledger Super 10 Poll with a 3-0 record. They are also ranked No. 10 in the South in the USA Today poll.
The Tigers have scored 139 points and have given up only 25 points.
Dandy dozen quarterback Derek Pegues is racking up stats on both offense and defense, along with dandy dozen wide receiver Travis Sanford. Also in the fray of nearly every defensive play is dandy dozen defensive lineman John Jerry.
These weapons have the Tiger team working like a well-oiled machine.
Though the inexperience of the starting lineups was a concern of head coach Ricky Woods, the team is determined to prove they are capable of routing enemies en route to a third straight undefeated regular season.
The Tigers hold a win streak of 18 games. In Woods reign, the Tigers hold a 32-1 record.
Kickoff in this 5A non-conference matchup is 7 p.m.