Sports / Outdoors – 11/11/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 11, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – November 11, 2005

  From the 11/11/05 issue of The Panolian     *REVISED*    


Tigers get first place vote in poll
Tigers and Chargers square off tonight
By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tigers got one first place vote in the National Tony Poll this week following their 35-0 shutout of Starkville last week.

The Tigers are still ranked No. 6 nationally in the Tony Poll and remained at No. 11 in the USA Today Poll. All the teams in the USA Today Super 25 poll won their respective games last week.

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This week, the Clarion-Ledger traced back the last scores of the 40 wins in the streak and came back that South Panola had outscored its opponents 1,584-379.

The Tigers remain atop the Clarion-Ledger Super 10 poll and the Associated Press 5A poll.

The Tigers and the Grenada Chargers (6-4 overall, 3-3 district) will close out the regular season on Tiger Field tonight.

With a win tonight, South Panola would have its fourth straight undefeated regular season. In addition to the 40-game win streak they enjoy, the Tigers have won 55 of its last 56 games.

At the beginning of each season, the Tigers, like every other team, have some concerns about how different positions will perform as the season goes along.

South Panola four-year head coach Ricky Woods was no exception.

One thing he did not expect in the spring and early fall was having to replace his starting tailback. But as all great teams, South Panola had some depth in that area in the form of senior running back Rickey Sanford.

Woods said that everybody has stepped up and played together as a unit.

"Rickey has had a great year and he has over a 1,000 yards rushing," Woods said. "But we still miss Germichael.

"Germichael is a great player and a great person," he continued. "The team has done well and they have overcome a little adversity at the beginning because we got hurt a lot early."

The Tigers also lost sophomore linebacker Rickyus Barksdale before the season and freshman fullback Reuben Corley early in the season.

"They (injured) still keep on working towards the goal," Woods said. "We are proud of this team and we miss those guys from playing. They are just as much a part of the team as they ever were."

Rickey Sanford leads in the team in rushing with 1,068 yards and 17 touchdowns. Junior fullback Jeramie Griffin has made a tremendous impact on the team this year with his 920 rushing yards, 255 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Leroy Diggs has been the third part of that triangle leading the Tigers with 746 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He has passed for 688 yards and 11 touchdowns. On the other side, he has been sacked nine times this year and has thrown three interceptions.

The backbone of the South Panola team for the past few years has been its fondly called "stingy defense." The Tiger defense has held opponents to 102 points this season with one shutout.

Of the stronger teams the Tigers faced, Moss Point only scored on a fumble returned for a touchdown. Olive Branch was limited to a field goal. Starkville was shut out.

Junior linebacker Chris Strong leads that defense with 58 total tackles and four sacks. Senior defensive end Justin Harris has 47 total tackles and seven and a half sacks. Senior linebacker Tarus Young has 41 total tackles and one interception. Junior defensive end Marlon Wilks had 35 total tackles and five sacks. Junior linebacker Kevin Young comes in with 35 total tackles, five sacks and one interception.

Senior defensive back Kerry Hoskins and sophomore defensive back Darius Barksdale leads with four interceptions each, following by sophomore defensive back Montez Austin with three interceptions. Hoskins also had 30 total tackles.

Grenada has had a very interesting season. They have won two games by one point each over Charleston, 7-6 and Columbus, 20-19. Losses have come at the hands of Warren Central, Starkville, Olive Branch and Tupelo.

South Panola will recognize seniors on the football team, cheerleaders and band members during Senior night activities. The football and cheerleaders will be honored pregame and the band right before the halftime show.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. The ticket booth opens at 6 p.m. with general admission tickets at $5.

Tigers shut out Yellowjackets 35-0
By Myra Bean

The physical matchup between South Panola and Starkville was so good, it made the game go faster as the Tigers won 35-0.

This game gave the Tigers (10-0 overall, 6-0 district) the undisputed title of Region 1-5A District Champs. The Tigers will have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs next week.

Tiger head coach Ricky Woods said on the radio he knew the Yellowjacket team would be tough physically.

Even though that was the case, the Tigers still got the shutout and rounded up 546 total yards of offense against the Yellowjackets.

Starkville was held to 126 total yards of offense. Incidently, Starkville was penalized six times for 40 yards while South Panola pulled seven flags for 65 yards.

"We just played really well," Woods said. "We are getting a little better on offense and defense. We are playing really, really physical.

"Any time of the year you can play real physical, your chances of winning will be greater," Woods continued. "People get tired of you pounding a little bit. It helps to win the game."

This gave the Tigers their 40th straight win dating back from 2003, following the loss at the 2002 state championship game.

The Tigers will play to make it 41 straight and a fourth straight undefeated regular season against Grenada Friday night.

Senior Leroy Diggs led the Tiger march with 178 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. He completed two of four passes to wide receiver Rodney Gray for 47 yards and one touchdown.

Starkville took the opening kickoff but that possession ended in a punt.

The Tigers’ first possession was capped by the 11-yard touchdown pass from Diggs to Gray with 6:55 on the first quarter clock. With Barrett Johnson’s PAT (point after touchdown) the Tigers led 7-0.

Junior fullback Jeramie Griffin scored the next touchdown on a 12-yard run right up the middle with 3:15 left in the first quarter. Griffin rushed for 51 yards on eight carries for the night. The PAT failed. The Tigers had a 13-0 lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter started off with some excitement. The Tigers fumbled the ball and the Yellowjackets recovered it on their own 31 yard line.

As Starkville went for the long pass on first down and 10, Tiger defensive back Darius "Tigg" Barksdale intercepted the ball and was down on the 27 yard line.

With the help of a Yellowjacket late hit penalty, Diggs scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 9:07 left in the first half. With the two-point conversion, the Tigers led 21-0 at the half.

South Panola punted away its first possession of the second half and Starkville turned its first possession over on downs after a decisive Tiger defensive stop.

On the Tigers’ second possession, Barksdale was able to go straight up the middle through the big hole created by the offensive line for a 21-yard touchdown run. With the PAT, the Tigers led 28-0.

The Tigers fumbled their next possession away with 1:46 left in the third quarter on the Tiger 22 yard line.

When Starkville got the ball, the Tiger defense pounced. Junior defensive end Marlon Wilks sacked the Starkville quarterback for a 10-yard loss on first down. Wilks was the leading tackler with seven tackles on the evening.

Then on second down and 20 from the 31, Barksdale pulled down his second interception of the night on the Tiger one yard line with 50 seconds left to go in the third quarter.

The Tigers turned that interception into a touchdown 10 plays and 99 yards later. Sophomore Justin Market scored on a five-yard run with 7:26 left in the game. Johnson’s PAT gave the Tigers the 35-0 win.

Market carried the ball most of that drive. On third down, he carried the ball from the Tiger five to the Starkville 48. Defensive back Kevin Young also saw some time on offense and carried the ball a few yards.

Then on the next Yellowjacket possession, Young stopped the drive with an interception with 4:54 left in the game. On the ensuing drive, the Tigers ran out the clock for the win.

Other Tiger rushers include Mario Nash, 25 yards on four carries; Rickey Sanford, 30 yards on five carries; Young, 17 yards on three carries; Karreem Carr, 26 yards on one carry; Barksdale had 84 yards on 13 carrries and one touchdown; Isaac Taylor had two yards on one carry; and Terrance Griffin had 11 yards on two carries.

The Tigers will wrap up the season at home Friday night hosting the Grenada Chargers in the final district game of the season at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for general admission at the ticket booth which will open at 6 p.m.

Grenada defeated Southaven 28-6 Friday night. Other 1-5A action Friday night saw Olive Branch over Columbus 42-7 and Tupelo shut out Horn Lake 47-0.

In a surprise of the night, Madison Central slaughtered then undefeated Northwest Rankin 50-21 in 2-5A action.

     Deshea Townsend smiles at the photographer when she tells him she is from his hometown of Batesville. The Panolian photographer/writer Angie Ledbetter and husband Jamie took some time off to go to Green Bay last weekend and they brought back some photos they shared with The Panolian.
Hunters considered dying breed
subhead: Efforts get underway to save them
Efforts get underway to save them
By Myra Bean

Hunters are a dying breed, according to Gary Morris, though he did not say so in exactly those words.

Morris, a former country music star, is founder of the Buck Conservation Society which got its start last year. The society is focusing its efforts in Mississippi and Tennessee this year to get more youth involved in hunting.

Morris said there have been a lot of different organizations that have focused all of their work on habitat, restoring good habitat for wildlife, but there has not been organization formed to focus on engaging people.

"We are about getting people back into hunting," Morris said. "We believe the habitat situation is taken care of. We have more wildlife today than in America’s history, better turkey, more deer, more elk, but less hunters."

Only one in every 10 hunters is under the age of 40, Morris said.

"The number one reason we have fewer young people participating is because they have a lack of mentors," Morris said. "People aren’t willing to take them.

"People say there game boys, X-boxes and malls and all types of different things that occupy our youth culture," Morris added. "All those things are true but the truth is if there are people willing to invest some of their time with young people, they will go."

Morris cited there are a lot more single mothers today who do not hunt but would love for someone to take their kids and expose them to the joys of hunting and nature.

$100 for doe hunt
This year there is an emphasis and challenge on the youth hunt which is a doe hunt.
In Mississippi a young sportsman who joins and participates in the Doe hunt ought to register their doe, Morris said.

"We pay $100 per county for a young sportsman," he said. "We will choose the winner in each county based on a photo they take of their doe and an essay they write, a 50 word essay, very short, to tell what their hunt was about."

Buck Conservation Challenge
The Buck Conservation Society introduced the Buck Conservation Challenge this year to hunters.

The Conservation Buck Challenge is a statewide competition no hunter or photographer will want to miss, according to the information on the website.

It is not a weekend hunt but a season long challenge featuring rifle, muzzleloader and bow divisions where the top three trophy bucks in each division will win. Plus there will be prizes for the best wildlife photos and a special young sportsman doe hunt limited to those 16 or under.

There are also great grand prizes just for participating: a Dodge Truck, an Elk Hunt at Mountain Spirits Lodge in Colorado and a Bad Boy Buggy.

In order to to participate in the Buck Challenge, one must join the Conservation Buck Society and you are automatically entered in one division of the Challenge plus in the draw for the grand prizes.

Wildlife money
Another of the main missions of the CBS is to inform the public that monies for wildlife agencies depend on the number of licenses sold in the state.

Morris wants the public to understand that all the money that goes to wildlife management in the state comes from the hunting and the fishing communities.

"Most people don’t know that and don’t understand how the process works," he said.

"We are the first line of wildlife conservation," Morris said. "Any wildlife agency would say that a key critical part of the wildlife management program is the hunting community. So we have to stay strong."

The conservation model used in this country is based on the dollars that comes in from licenses that go to the wildlife agencies. Their budgets come from that, Morris explained.

Plus, there is an excise tax that is paid on every piece of hunting gear whether it is a knife, rifle, bullet, bow or boat, hunting or fishing. That goes to the federal government.

Morris then explained that money is sent back to the states based on the number of licenses sold in each state.

"With our numbers growing smaller, there are less resources for the wildlife agency to work with, less wildlife officers, less wildlife management," Morris reiterated.

Morris said even if some people legally do not have to buy licenses due to age or land ownership, they should buy the $3 alternative license.

"I think everybody should buy it because that is $11 from the feds for wildlife management," he said. "It increases the roll. We want to make a statement that will say we are not dying. We are coming back with young people."

Union of hunters
CBS is about developing a strong union of hunters.

"We are not just about deer hunters," he said. "We are about turkey hunters, duck hunters and bird hunters. We are all a part of the same fraternity or sorority. We want to be able to speak with one voice.

"This is the real important part of our message," Morris continued. "We want people to understand that hunting and conservation are one consciousness."

Public lands
There is less and less public lands to hunt on these days also, Morris said.

"We are looking at less and less available space for the average person to be able to go out and take their kid and take a trip into the woods," Morris added. "We are addressing that. That’s why we need big membership. We need the support to say we want public lands. We don’t want to plan on being able to count on our uncle’s farm because we don’t know how long that will be there. It needs to be good hunting land."

The Delta Council says it has lots of land and will make it available if people want to bring youngsters to hunt, according to Morris.

Guide Program
Locally, there will not be chapters formed but what Morris refers to as a guide program that should be in place by the beginning of next year.

The society will have people in local communities who will be working with them not only finding members but looking at other conservation projects that needs to be worked on in local areas.

These will be people who are informed and educated about what CBS believes needs to happen in our wildlife.

"What we don’t want to do is come in a community and take money away from a community," he said." If we can have members, we want to be able to then come back with our corporate sponsors and say there is a program we need to do in a certain area."

Morris referred to scholastic archery and trapshooting after school programs which can be taught by local wildlife officers.

"It’s growing," Morris said. "They are going into the schools now and they need funding. They need help."

Join CBS
To join the Conservation Buck Society and take advantage of the Conservation Buck Challenge and/ or the youth doe hunt, fill out the form below and mail it in with your fee, call 1-866-544-BUCK (2825) or go to the website for more information or to join at .

SP Lady Tigers win season opener by 1
By Myra Bean

The Lady Tigers sure know how to start a season off right.

Even though head coach Ralph Stallings was not pleased with the play of the Lady Tigers, they did manage to pull off a last second 29-28 win over Cleveland Tuesday night at home.

Junior Shanice Williams hit a three-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in the game. Williams had tried and missed the shot two other times in the game. That she would attempt it again at crunch time was gutsy on her part.

"I believed in the shot," Williams said as the Lady Tigers exuberantly exited the court after the win.

Cleveland called back-to-back time outs with 4.0 seconds left on the clock to check out the Lady Tiger set up and prepare to shoot a three-pointer as the time was set to expire. The crowd was on its feet.
However, the Tigers used the press and Kim Sanford and Vetorra Cole forced Cleveland to throw the ball out of bounds as time expired for the win.

Cleveland jumped out to a 4-0 score, but after the Lady Tigers caught up it was neck and neck throughout the game. Cleveland led 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. South Panola had regained the lead and led 16-15 at halftime.

By the end of the third quarter the Lady Tigers built up a 24-16 lead, but both teams had trouble with their shots.

In the fourth quarter, South Panola missed some key free throws and allowed Cleveland nine unanswered points to take the 25-24 lead with 5:59 to go in the game. The teams exchanged leads two more times as Cleveland led 28-26 with 3:12 to go in the game. Then the scoring stalled.

Both teams turned the ball over, missed field goals and key free throws until Williams 3-pointer which was the last basket of the game.

Scoring for the Lady Tigers were Celeste Cole 10 points; Courtney D. Jones, 8 points; Vetorra Cole, 4 points; Williams, 3 points; Sabrina Townsend, Skylar Barnes, Courtney N. Jones and Kim Sanford, 2 points each.

JV Lady Tigers
A shutout in basketball is just about unheard of but the South Panola Jr. Varsity Lady Tigers almost accomplished that feat against Cleveland in the season opener Tuesday night.

By virtue of the players and the game, someone on the team should have shooting skills.

The Jr. Varsity Lady Tigers downed Cleveland 35-2.

Cleveland did not score a basketball until 3:26 left in the game and that was the only basket they could make. Cleveland had opportunities, but the Lady Tigers utilized their pressure defense and kept their opponents away and out of the basket.

Lady Tiger scorers include Raquel Burdette, 10 points; Barnes, 9 points; Celeste Cole, 6 points; Vetorra Cole and Tierra Gleaton, 5 points each.

The Tigers started the game in a dominating fashion and ended it with a 74-42 win.

The Tigers took the opening tip and built up a 9-0 lead before Cleveland scored with 5:34 left in the first quarter.

At the end of the quarter, South Panola led 23-10.

It did not get any prettier for Cleveland as they faced steal after steal by Roderick Moore, Starkville transfer Jamal Bush, Anthony Nelson and any body else the Tigers could find to put on the floor.

The Tigers had a comfortable 37-21 lead going into halftime.

The game was more physical on the side of the Tigers than the Cleveland and the Tigers set a fast pace Cleveland was hard bent to try to keep up with. By the end of the third quarter, the Tigers had a 29-point lead, 62-33.

Scoring for the Tigers were Bush, who lead all scorers with 21 points; Justin Vaughn, 11 points; and finishing out the double digit scoring were Joseph Hankins and Anthony Nelson, 10 points each. Other scorers include LaRico Treadwell, 7 points; Moore, 4 points; Brandon Martin, Nicholas Johnson and Jared Pope, 3 points each; and Cordell Austin, 2 points.

The Tigers hosted Grenada last night but the scores were not available at press time.

The Tigers will be in Tupelo Monday for three games at 5 p.m.

Next week November 16 through 19, the teams will participate in the J.Z. George Tournament, which is a round robin tournament. The school is near Winona.

Round ball season underway
By Myra Bean

Batesville Jr. High and South Panola won all their games and the North Delta boys were the only ones to walk away with a win at Marvell, as basketball season got underway for the local high school and junior high teams this week.

Batesville Jr. High played four games with the seventh and eighth grade boys and girls Monday. South Panola played three with the junior varsity and varsity girls and the varsity boys Tuesday.

North Delta traveled to Marvell, Ark. and played four games with the junior high and varsity girls and boys on Tuesday.

Batesville Jr. High swept Southaven as the seventh grade girls won 33-16; seventh grade boys won 24-11; eighth grade girls won 31-22; and the eighth grade boys won 36-25.

Batesville Jr. High
For the seventh grade girls Brittany Moore was the game high scorer with 19 points. Also scoring were Dorian Winfield, 10 points; Carissa McDaniel and Angelica Coppage, 2 points each.

For the seventh grade boys Dennis Draper scored 9 points, followed by Cory Jackson with 8 points. Other scorers included Gervacus Keys and Nick Brassell, 3 points each and Marcus Henry, 2 points.

Batesville Jr. High 8th girls
With only six eighth grade girls on the bench, head coach Roy Ellis had his work cut out for him as Southaven had a full slate of 12 girls to choose from.

Batesville was down 11-4 but made a comeback with field goals by Kierra Robertson and Chasity Kearney. They were down 11-9 at halftime.

The Batesville girls came back with a vengeance after halftime time to tie the game at 11 on a Shelby Johnson field goal. Jasmon Houston completed a three-point play with a field goal and free throw to take the lead for the first time with 12:47 left in the game. The lead just kept building.

The Lady Tigers kept plugging away, even after Noel Griffin fouled out with about four minutes left in the game, leaving the Lady Tigers with no relief player.

Kearney was the leading scorer with 12 points, followed by Houston with 11. Houston scored 10 of her points in the second half. Johnson had five points and Robertson had three points.

Batesville Jr. High 8th boys
Keenan Draper stands about 6’2" for the Batesville Jr. High Tigers and brought a lot of excitement to the game with his back to back steals to start the game and his selfless assists to the shooting players.

Batesville built up an 8-0 lead before Southaven scored with 12:57 left to go in the first half.

Even though Southaven came with the pressure defense, Batesville Jr. High just threw the ball down the court and looked for the easy basket.

Batesville took a 19-9 lead into halftime and never looked back in the second half.

Scoring for the Tigers were Devin Clark, 12 points; Draper and Antonio Jones, 6 points each; James Spraggin 5 points; Jeremy Patterson, 4 points; Carlton Raynor, 4 points; and Nicholas Parker, 1 point.

Batesville Jr. High will be at Lafayette County, Monday, November 14 at 5 p.m. and will host Oxford Thursday, November 17 at 5 p.m. They will be off for Thanksgiving and return to action on Tuesday, November 29 in Southaven at 4 p.m.

North Delta
The North Delta varsity boys knocked off the Marvell Academy Eagles in a nail biter 56-54.

Jacob Gurley hit two free throws at the end of the game to break the tie and secure the win for the Green Waves.

"It had been back and forth throughout the whole game," said first year head coach Brad Wilson. "We hustled well, made first game mistakes, but I am pleased with the effort and the rebounding."

Dakota Mabry was the leading scorer with 21 points, followed by Evan West with 16. Nathanael Abernethy contributed 9 points to the win along with six from Gurley.

The Jr. High Boys and the Jr. High girls lost by 13 points each.

The varsity girls got "spanked," according to their head coach Herman Coats.

The Green Wave will be in Tupelo to play Faith Christian on Saturday, November 12 beginning at 4 p.m. They will play three games.

On Monday, November 14, the Green Wave will play four games at the Tunica Institute of Learning beginning at 4 p.m.

Next Monday, November 21, the Green Waves will be the closer to home in Senatobia at Magnolia Heights for six games beginning at 3:30 p.m.

The team will not be home until after Thanksgiving on Monday, November 28 to host Lee, Ark.



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