| By Myra Bean
Comparing the different polls the last few weeks has been kind of fun.
Last year the Tony Poll ranked South Panola way below the USA Today poll so I stopped paying attention to it. I figured the Tony Poll would do the same this year but I looked at it anyway.
Low and behold, they have been ranking South Panola higher than the USA Today for the last three weeks.
This week the Tony Poll ranked South Panola at No. 6 in the nation and No. 2 in the Southeast Region.
In the USA Today South Panola was at No. 11 and No. 7 in the South Region.
Not so bad, Tigers.
I didn’t say anything before but I do not think Southaven tried very hard to play the Tigers last week. I think they had it in their heads they were going to lose so why put out the effort.
That cold night made for a very long game even though that was one of the quickest games we have had.
Starkville has never and will never roll over and let South Panola have anything, so that’s why I am looking forward to the game tonight. I was sick earlier this week and not really thinking about it.
Wednesday, I told my daughter I was getting excited about the game.
Oh and keep an eye on the 4A race. There are some good to great teams duking it out. Close to us Oxford, Lafayette, Clarksdale and South Panola’s old nemesis West Point, are on the prowl to probably take on 4A guru Wayne County in the South.
Left out of playoffs
I have been having some conversations with people about the other two teams and why they did not make the playoffs this year.
Everyone wants to blame the coaching staffs for teams not making the playoffs. Like the leaders that they are, the coaches will take the blame.
One thing: every one of these head coaches and some of the assistants have experience of making it to the "big dance" as North Panola coach Demetrius Hill calls it. Hill played in the state championship on the Meridian team. He knows what sacrifices players and coaches have to make to get that far.
It is not an easy road.
It is not just the 11 weeks of the regular football season.
North Delta coach Rick Johnston has taken teams to the state championship game. He knows what it takes.
The coaches are not playing the games. Repeat: the coaches are not playing the games. The players are playing.
The coaches and their staffs set up workout, strength and conditioning guidelines to build athletic bodies that have to take 11 to 15 weeks of hard hitting to get to the state playoff games.
Johnston told me in a preseason interview that only eight players made all required summer workouts.
If the number of players who made all the workouts is less than 100%, why do you expect a perfect season? If you are not training your bodies and your minds for the upcoming season, why are you surprised you don’t get any further than the end of the regular season?
It’s not the coaches’ fault.
At North Panola, players wait to the first day of school to join the team and expect to start just because they think the team can’t function without them. After tonight’s game, every player who expects to be a part of next year’s team needs to be somewhere working out on Monday, building your bodies to take the grunt work required on the gridiron.
If you are mad you didn’t prolong your season, good. Go do something about it. Go get ready for next year.
Show up to ahead of time for spring practice. Show up before the coaches do for summer workouts. Be there for the beginning of fall practice. Get to the field houses the best way you can. Don’t let that be an excuse why you don’t show up for practice or workouts.
If this is really what you want, you will be there.
With the state championships each year as a goal, fans and schools alike require a lot from athletes in all sports not just football.
So before we go calling for the coaches’ heads on a platter, we may need to see how the athletes are treating and training their bodies.
Sometimes the coaches may make some game decisions that do not work out. Nobody’s perfect. But football, basketball, baseball/ softball and such are team sports. The whole team needs to sacrifice to meet its ultimate goal.