Sports / Outdoors – 12/10/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 10, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: December 10, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 12/10/04  issue of The Panolian


Woods named Coach-of-the-Year
South Panola head coach Ricky Woods (c) spoke on television following the State Championship game last Friday while his wife, Susan, looked on. Woods was chosen as the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ Coach-of-the-Year this week for the second straight year.

By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) has made a big announcement.

South Panola head football coach Ricky Woods has been named the MAC’s Coach-of-the-Year for the second straight year.

Also, Woods has been chosen to be the head coach of the annual Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game to be played in Mobile, Ala. June 4.

This game pits the best of Alabama players against the best of Mississippi players. Alabama leads the series 12-5.

Woods has been coaching at South Panola since 2002 and has amassed a 44-1 record. He recorded his 174th win in the back-to-back state championship game over Ocean Springs last Friday night.

Woods’ career record is 174-40 and he has state championships from Ethel, Eupora, Ackerman and South Panola.

Coaching with woods in the All-Star game are Pat Byrd of Amory, Steven Jones of Ocean Springs, John McCrocy of Grenada, Mack Sampson of O’Bannon, Ted Taylor of Madison Central and Larry Weems of Pearl.


Coaching changes hit SEC big time

Since my deadlines to have this written are before Senatobia and South Panola play in their respective State Championship Games, I can’t congratulate them yet. But when you read this it will be a done deal. It just isn’t fair. I hope they both do well.

More changes in the SEC Head Coaches – with the total at four now. I know all of those who are moving on, as it were, and my only reason for hating it is they are all great people. Spurrier back in amongst us will make it interesting to say the least.

I was working the 2001 Florida State at Florida game when I had an interesting encounter with Coach Spurrier.

As I came out of our dressing room at The Swamp I met him face to face about to come in the door. I stood in front of the door because they are not supposed to come in our area and asked if I could help. He sort of sheepishly asked if he could see the Referee.

It was an ACC crew in this game and I honestly told him they were gone to see Coach Bowden and would be in to see him directly afterward. He then sort of looked around and said he just wanted to see if we needed anything. He knew that I knew he just wanted to get in a little extra visiting and maybe get a little bit of an edge.

After a few seconds of silence he just said, "Well, never mind. Thanks," and walked on back toward his locker rooms whistling their fight song. I did get to meet Coach Bowden before the game and he was every bit as personable as he seemed from TV interviews and commercials.

He asked, "Now where are you from?" and seemed genuinely interested to know. Probably had the same motif as Coach Spurrier if the truth was known.

With changes in one-third of them it just reminds us how tough a job it is to be a head coach in the SEC. For the most part, the Head Coach is the CEO of the corporation entity or team. He really doesn’t get to do much actual coaching.

He has to be sure his assistants carry out his wishes but his main job is to be the school’s best PR man. He has to do the "baby kissing" and speaking to clubs and alumni groups. Some coaches do a better job of kissing than others and the ones who are good at schmoozing the high-dollar alumni usually last longer.

The successful teams are ones who have great assistant coaches to "coach" while the Head Coach does the kissing.

I know the camera is always on the Head Coach during a game as he’s talking on his headset to the coordinators and assistants and directing them. I know they make a lot of money but you can believe they earn it too.

The most interesting play I’ve seen in a while happened in the Texas – Texas A&M game. The try or extra point attempt was changed in NCAA rules back in the early 90s to allow a blocked attempt to be returned by the defense for a two-point score.

The try is a separate part of the game and this made it even more so. What happened was the kicker kicked the very top of the ball and sent it into the mass of linemen and a defender picked up the ball and was trying to get up field.

It got worse for the would-be hero when he was tackled in the end zone. This constitutes a safety but the rules only allow one point for a safety during a try.

I didn’t see the game but I can imagine how much fun the referee had explaining that to the coach wondering why he only got one point instead of the usual two. To add to the fun, the ball is then kicked by the team who just scored the touchdown and not by the team who just gave up the safety as is done any other time during the game.

We have a phrase that is included in most all SEC pre-game meetings regarding enforcing penalties: "Go slow. When you think you are going slow then go slower!" You can not get in a hurry when sorting out strange or different situations like that one. If you do you’ll get it wrong. Every time.

Once again, I hope our teams did well. Just wish I could see ahead a day or two. See you next week.


Order State champ t-shirts
South Panola is offering official state championship t-shirts on sale to the public.

An order blank follows on page B3
(click here for an online version) with the sizes and prices. Shirts will be available in short and long sleeve t- shirts and sweatshirts, and in either red or white colors.

Deadline to order is today, Dec. 10, to receive shirts before Christmas. Shirts ordered after today will not be available until school resumes after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The shirts will say South Panola Tigers, 5A State Champions with the SP logo in the middle on the front. On the back is the logo with the words Back 2 Back.

Take the order blank and the money by the school during school hours 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
MHSAA agrees on biannual realignment for 2005-2007
The Mississippi High School Activities Association has released its bi-annual realignment for 2005-2007 academic years.

There has been shuffling through all five divisions for athletic purposes.

Coming into 5A are Provine, Jim Hill, Wingfield and George County. The MHSAA kept the number of schools in 5A to 32.

Leaving 5A and going to 4A are West Point, St. Martin, Long Beach and Picayune.

Taking West Point’s place in 1-5A is Grenada.

For football, 1-5A will be Columbus, Grenada, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, South Panola, Southaven, Starkville and Tupelo. For the complete lineup of divisions in 3A, 4A and 5A see the accompanying lists.

North Panola lost three district foes and gained three others. Cleveland and Tunica Rosa Fort move to 4A. Cleveland East Side will remain in 3A but move to another division.

North Panola will face new district foes Byhalia, Holly Springs and Water Valley.

Also moving to 4A is the fast growing Desoto Central School.
5A FOOTBALL 2005-07    

5A-1 DOE Class/Div   5A-2 DOE/Class/Div
1 Columbus 1383   8 Tupelo 1846
2 Grenada 1182   9 Clinton 1404
3 Horn Lake 1498   10 Greenville 1663
4 Olive Branch 1830   11 Madison Ctrl 1768
5 South Panola 1231   12 Murrah 1155
6 Southaven 1411   13 NW Rankin 1247
7 Starkville 1148   14 Provine* 1078
 5A-3 DOE/Class/Div   15 Vicksburg 1072
17  Brandon 1199   16 Warren Ctrl 1090
18 Forest Hill 1059   5A-4 DOE/Class/Div
19 Hattiesburg 1292   25 Biloxi  1627
20 Jim Hill * 1150   26 George Cty * 1068
21 Meridian 1525   27 Gulfport 1754
22 Natchez 1168   28 Hancock 1117
23 Oak Grove 1199   29 Harrison Ctrl 2360
24 Wingfield * 1053   30 Moss Point 1157
      31 Ocean Sprs 1737
      32 Pascagoula 1226
43697    5A Total 32 
4A FOOTBALL 2005-07   3A FOOTBALL 2005-07
4A-1 DOE/Class/Div   3A-1 DOE/Class/Div
1 Itawamba 605   1 Alcorn Central 484
2 New Albany 539   2 Booneville * 380
3 Pontotoc 609   3 Corinth 482
4 Saltillo 669   4 Kossuth 438
5 Shannon 623   5 Mooreville * 387
6 Tishomingo Cty 604   6 North Pontotoc 418
7 West Point * 965   7 Ripley 495
 4A-2 DOE/Class/Div   3A-2 DOE/Class/Div
8 Clarksdale 748   8 Aberdeen 482
9 Cleveland * 559   9 Amory  * 497
10 DeSoto Central * 968   10 Caledonia   473
11 Hernando 1032   11 Houston  * 497
12 Lafayette 577   12 Nettleton 361
13 Oxford 828   13 South Pontotoc 437
14 Rosa Fort * 556   3A-3 DOE/Class/Div
4A-3 DOE/Class/Div   14 Byhalia 521
15 Callaway 917   15 Holly Springs   497
16 Canton 843   16 Independence   450
17 Gentry 902   17 M. S. Palmer 386
18 Greenwood 720   18 North Panola 465
19 Lanier 898   19 Senatobia 522
20 Pearl 968   20 Water Valley  * 352
21 Ridgeland 845   3A-4 DOE/Class/Div
22 Yazoo City 583   21 Amanda Elzy 479
4A-4 DOE/Class/Div   22 Charleston 435
23 Kosciusko 609   23 East Side 493
24 Louisville 564   24 Humphreys 478
25 NE. Lauderdale 674   25 McClain 437
26 Neshoba Central 756   26 South Delta 357
27 New Hope  859   27 Winona 399
28 Noxubee County 648   3A-5 DOE/Class/Div
29 West Lauderdale* 552   28 Carthage  405
4A-5 DOE/Class/Div   29 Choctaw Central 488
30 Laurel 694   30 Forest 391
31  Northeast Jones 641   31 Morton 417
32 Petal   1032   32 Newton County 425
33 Quitman 620   33 SE Lauderdale 399
34 South Jones 664   34 Velma Jackson 362
35 Wayne County 1041   3A-6 DOE/Class/Div
36 West Jones 918   35 Bailey  * 526
4A-6 DOE/Class/Div   36 Crystal Springs 455
37 Brookhaven 733   37 Hazlehurst 486
38 Florence 622   38 Jefferson County 426
39 Lawrence 653   39 Raymond 479
40 McComb 752   40 Richland 414
41 Mendenhall 658   41 Yazoo County * 519
42 Port Gibson * 562   3A-7 DOE/Class/Div
43 Terry   959   42 Columbia 503
4A-7 DOE/Class/Div   43 Franklin Co 448
44 Diberville 974   44 North Pike 461
45 East Central 767   45 South Pike * 511
46 Forrest Cty AHS 576   46 Tylertown 479
47 Gautier 832   47 West Marion 354
48 St. Martin *  1016   48 Wilkinson County 399
49 Stone   682   3A-8 DOE/Class/Div
50 Vancleave 680   49 Collins 512
4A-8 DOE/Class/Div   50 Greene County   536
51 Bay 691   51 Magee   493
52 Long Beach * 1043   52 Prentiss 356
53 Pass Christian 593   53 Purvis 468
54 Pearl River Ctrl 785   54 Raleigh 404
55 Picayune * 1024   55 Sumrall 371
56 Poplarville * 538   3A-X DOE/Class/Div
57 St. Stanislaus 624   56 MS Math & Science* 482
      57 Our Lady Academy 380
  42594 4A Total 57      25451 3A Total 55

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