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.
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.