Sports / Outdoors – 12/21/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Panolian Sports Headlines: December 21, 2004

For complete stories,
pick up the 12/21/04  issue of The Panolian


Cougars fall to East Side;
     School remembers fallen coach
North Panola’s Jeremy Johnson, No. 22, and Dexter Thomas (r), try to make inbounding the ball difficult for the Cleveland player last week. The Cougars won that game 63-56. The Cougar teams are off for holiday break and will resume play Tuesday, Jan. 4 at home to host district foe Independence.
Commentary by
Ken Daugherty
North Panola High School

The mighty Cougars rode the yellow bus down to Cleveland to take on East Side High School. All in all, it was a pretty good night for basketball and whatever in the Delta.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As Mr. John Sullivan followed along on Highway 61, he shared what was recently earned at Delta State University, too. He is now a principal with a Specialist Degree in Education. Already, he is thinking about starting on the doctoral program, too.

There’s nothing wrong with that!

Congratulations Mr. John Sullivan. He rose to the challenge of working full time as a principal and taking the evening and night classes at DSU.

He ran that 100 mile one-way trail from Panola to Bolivar like a horse with no fear.

Of course ponies have always run wild and free, according to the lyrics of a popular song. In fact, knowing John Sullivan, he would have probably driven all the way to Natchez, Indian Country, to get this degree.

Well, Mr. Sullivan and I rode on down to eat a little bit of the Christmas dinner with the Shaw School District, which is about 7 miles below Cleveland.

Mr. Baron, Superintendent, was very hospitable, and Mr. Sullivan volunteered to help him fix his school web site. He called Sullivan the "Techno Guru." He and Mr. Sullivan have known each other for a long time.

He even recalled how John Sullivan had once shot three cows of a former enemy for him. Needless to say, Mr. Baron and John didn’t have any more trouble out of that guy with the dead cows.

In fact, Mr. Baron and his enemy became friends after the cow killing. Sometimes, the only thing that will settle a bull down is a bigger bull, according to Mr. Baron.

Meanwhile, the Cougars were getting warmed-up to take on the Cleveland team. The lady Cougars were ahead by a score of 19-12 at the end of the first quarter.

Somehow, the Cleveland players started a little cow or Cougar killing in the second quarter, though. At the half, it was Cleveland on top by a score of 22-18. After three-quarters, it was 41 to 26, and the Cleveland ladies stayed ahead at the end by a score of 55 to 41.

The Cougar men ended the first quarter by being behind only two points, 14-12.

Then, the Cleveland players tried to do a little bull killing at the half. It was 32-22 in favor of Cleveland. This is the way it stayed for the next quarter, too. At the end of the third quarter, the Cougars were getting bumped around to the tune of 41-31. At the end of the third, it was 41-31 in favor of the Cleveland men.

However, in the fourth quarter, the Cougars got the bull by the horns and sent the game into overtime. Finally, the Cleveland bulls pulled away or pushed away by a final score of 61- 57.

As the Cougars got back on Highway 61 and headed north to Panola, it was a good time to think about a coach who dedicated 27 years of his life to helping the Cougars, too.

A memorial service was held at North Panola High School on December 16. Coach Jimmy Lee Pugh will be missed. His philosophy was "the tougher the team, the tougher we play."

Yes, it was good to pause a moment, according to Mrs. Georgia Lee Ford, and remember a special man.

"Jimmy loved North Panola High School," according to James Harris, former Superintendent for North Panola Schools. "I’m most proud that Jimmy was a Christian, too," added Harris.

"Jimmy left his footprints in the sand at North Panola," said former principal Charles McClelland.

"He was like a father to me," said former student and player Harold Lewis.

"Everything is gonna be all right," said Coach Ivy Dixon.

This is what Coach Pugh had once told him when he faced a tough challenge in his own life. Dixon remembered and returned the encouraging words.

"Jimmy was a jack of all trades; he could do a little bit of everything," said Coach Clifton Davis.

"Thank you Lord for being willing to send Coach Pugh to the North Panola School District; he was a man who loved his school, his neighbors, and even his enemies," said Rev. Cedric Richardson.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born and a time to die," Ecclesiastes Chapter 3: 1-2.

Special songs "I’ll Fly Away" and "I Spoke to an Angel" were sung by Veda Taylor and Lula Jean Watson.


Batesville Bullets
The Batesville Bullets Youth Cheerleading squad competed at the Athletic Championships National Competition in Tunica, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 11 and 12. There were over 2,000 athletes from six states at the competition. The Bullets placed third in Youth Dance. They placed first in Youth Cheer and were named National Champions of Youth Cheer.

Posing with their trophies are: (front row, l to r) Bonnie Beth Moore, Jordan Pointer; (second row, l to r) Tori Beth Jenkins, Brooke Taylor; (third row, l to r) Kayla Copeland, Cassidy Jenkins, Maggie Williams, Mikki Whitworth, Sydney Claire Sullivant; (fourth row, l to r) Meagan Gazaway, Elizabeth Burkhalter, Casey Beard and Mallory Mixon.

Give thanks even while furious
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

To say that Derek Pegues being passed over as the state’s Mr. Football is a disappointment would be the biggest understatement of the new century.

Pegues was just voted Mississippi’s Gatorade Player-of-the-Year. Yeah! Go Derek.

According to the Gatorade company, this award has become one of the most prestigious high school athletic awards in the nation.

To say that Panola County was not furious with the state not recognizing Pegues’ worth, would be like saying Hurricane Charley was a spring shower.

I have had calls and conversations about this slap in the face to Derek. What will it take for an athlete from north Mississippi to get the recognition he/she deserves?

I was thinking that all of these recuiters will be around here trying to convince these great athletes to sign with Mississippi schools.

Why should they? Mississippi obviously does not appreciate them.

While trying to reign in my furiousness yesterday, I went to church and was reminded that some people are worse off than others and have been through life threatening situations. Then I remembered that we should all be thankful that Derek and all his teammates have been blessed with great talent and it will carry them a long way in life if they use it wisely.

The player chosen for the honor is undoubtedly quite good himself. He also deserves some recognition for his talents.

That is what I have chosen to dwell on and not the injustice. All will come out right in the end.

As we get ready for Christmas, let’s remember the good things, the great seasons, the life lessons we have learned this year. Time seems to go so fast.

We are getting ready to go through our second Christmas without our mother and at times it is a hard thought to deal with. Many will be going through the first time without loved ones and some will still face those hard times for the third or more time.

Whatever we may have to face, we will be made stronger by going through it.

We have included in today’s issue the Season’s Greetings section with the children’s letters to Santa.

I will be on holiday break and vacation Dec. 24-Jan. 3. If you need anything, call me by Thursday.

So, have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Midcourt pileup
Call 911, there was a pileup in the South Panola gym Thursday night. The South Panola Lady Tigers and the Olive Branch Lady ‘Quistors collided in this district matchup. In the end, Olive Branch walked away with just a few bruises in a 61-45 victory.

The Lady Tigers had some loose paws at the end of the match in which they had a lead going into the second quarter. The Lady ‘Quistors tied the game in the second and led 28-26 going into halftime. Two of the South Panola players going for the loose ball were Jessica Govan (l) and Shenice Williams. In the back, the Lady ‘Quistor is trying to call for timeout to secure the basketball.