Sports / Outdoors – 12/20/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – December 20, 2005

  From the 12/20/05 issue of The Panolian        *NEW*


Clarion-Ledger names Woods
     coach of the year
Five Tigers named to All-State
      first and second teams
     The Clarion Ledger 2005 Coach of the Year Ricky Woods, South Panola Head Football Coach
By Myra Bean

Well, some of the postseason football awards are in and members of the South Panola Tiger football and coaching staff are reaping some rewards of hard work.

Head coach Ricky Woods has been picked as the state’s coach of the year. He was also chosen in 2003.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Woods was the Mississippi Coach’s Association (MAC) choice for 2003 and 2004. The 2005 coach of the year has not been released as of press time.

As usual, Woods was humble about the recognition and gave most of the credit to his coaching staff: Willis Wright, Arnie Oakes, John Davis, Trenell Edwards, Mark Weaver, Lucian King and Michael Fair.

"You’re just as good as the people you surround yourself with and I’ve been real fortunate to have good people around me," Woods told the Clarion Ledger.

Wright said, "And the fact that we have great players helps."

South Panola had three players make the All-State Football team: senior offensive linemen Josh Boren and South Oakes; and junior linebacker Chris Strong.

Making the second team offense were senior wide receiver Rodney Gray and sophomore lineman Cameron Wagner.

Last week senior running back Rickey Sanford was named the state’s player of the week.

The Tigers have amassed a 59-1 four year record under Woods. The team has a 45-game winning streak at the end of the season, the third longest active streak in the nation. The team topped the season off with its third consecutive 5A state championship to bring the total championships to five for the school.

Chosen as Mississippi’s Mr. Football this year was running back Terry Grant of Lumberton.

It takes time to build a winning tradition
By William Correrro

South Panola with another State Championship is getting real close to being a normal occurrence.

Try as they may to sensationalize it all, it’s like Thanksgiving and turkey or Fred and Ginger or Florida and Gators; South Panola winning it all is just, well, one of those "supposed to be" things. Ask anyone there and they’ll tell you it’s not hard to win all the time.

All it takes is a team attitude as close to perfection as possible, a conditioning program that is second to none and the biggest contributing factor: knowing how to win. I know that sounds kind of hokey but a winning program doesn’t just appear overnight.

My old high school alma mater Senatobia has had the same tradition for many, many years and even held a state consecutive wins record. A winning tradition is probably the most influential of the ingredients of a champion.

It takes a long time to establish a consistent winning tradition to build each year’s team around.
There are a lot of programs across the state that might have equal talent but these days if that talent is not developed through a huge dose of fundamentals preceded by a very serious year-round weight and conditioning program they will be just an average team.

Each individual on a team has to take his contributory element to the team serious enough to go the extra distance in the weight room, running track and practice field. That extra "above and beyond" dedication pays off with big rewards.

It’s just how much you want to reach your goal. Look at South Panola football. Look at Senatobia. Look at Peyton Manning. It’s easy to see who does and who doesn’t.

I was working late during the Sunday night game with the Packers and Lions. I wasn’t really interested anyway but when they started the overtime it caught my attention. Referee Mike Carey had the captains at mid-field on national TV and got this sick look on his usually serious face as he was reaching in his pocket for the coin to toss. He had lost it.

It was even funny when they showed some of the crew going to the ball boys to see if they had a quarter or something. Even I’ve had that happen and it sure is a sick feeling when you have everyone ready to go with game face on and no coin.

I’ve even flipped a penny once. I’ve heard of some using their plastic game card that we write fouls on but the best was one Referee who just took the situation in hand and told the visiting captain to pick a number between one and ten. Got to be able to think on your feet.

I hope everyone’s holidays are great. My biggest joy is to be able to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of our two wonderful sons.

Merry Christmas to all and to all – I’ll see you next week.

Sanford recognized by Sporting News
The Sporting News has honored three Ole Miss Rebels – offensive guard Michael Oher, defensive back Jamarca Sanford, and running back Mico McSwain – it was announced Monday.

Oher was named to The Sporting News 2005 Freshman All-America first team and Sanford was a third-team pick, while McSwain rated Honorable Mention.

Also, The Sporting News selected both Oher and Sanford to its 2005 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team.

Oher, a 6′-5", 330-pound true freshman from Memphis, Tenn., was earlier named first team Freshman All-America by and third team Freshman All-America by .
A 5-10, 191-pound redshirt freshman from Batesville, Sanford had earlier been honored with Oher as a member of the SEC Coaches’ first team Freshman All-SEC squad.

Although he missed the last two games with an injury, McSwain, a 6-1, 203-pound redshirt freshman from Richton, Miss., still led the 2005 Rebels in rushing with 612 yards on 124 carries and three touchdowns. McSwain averaged 4.9 yards per carry.

Orgeron awards 60 letters
Ole Miss head football coach Ed Orgeron announced Monday that 60 members of the Rebel squad earned letters for the 2005 season, including 20 seniors, 12 juniors, 12 sophomores, and 16 freshmen.

Thirteen seniors completed their careers at Ole Miss by earning their fourth letter.

They included wide receiver Taye Biddle, offensive lineman Tony Bonds, defensive lineman McKinley Boykin, defensive lineman Michael Bozeman, tight end Jimmy Brooks, wide receiver Mike Espy, offensive lineman Bobby Harris, wide receiver Mario Hill, running back Brandon Jacobs, defensive back Travis Johnson, defensive end Jayme Mitchell, linebacker Kelvin Robinson, and offensive lineman Tre? Stallings.

When Orgeron was hired as the 35th head coach in Ole Miss history a year ago, he emphasized that freshmen would have an opportunity to come in and play immediately.

Of the 16 freshmen who lettered, eight were true freshmen including defensive lineman Peria Jerry of Batesville.

Ole Miss football lettermen for 2005 include:
JUNIOR – Trumaine McBride, DB, Clarksdale;
SOPHOMORE – Marcus Cohen, OL, Clarksdale; Jeremy Garrett, DL, Senatobia; Darryl Harris, C, Clarksdale;
FRESHMEN – Peria Jerry, DL, Batesville; and Jamarca Sanford, DB, Batesville.

Tigers slam door in Quistors face
with 64-63 win
By Myra Bean

The South Panola Tiger basketball team (9-4 overall, 1-1 district) can go and have a great Christmas holiday after defeating Olive Branch (9-3) 64-63 Thursday on the road in a key district matchup.

The Tiger team members were very upbeat prior to the game, but that almost seemed premature as Olive Branch jumped out to a 15-10 first quarter score.

South Panola did not even score until 5:41 of the first quarter on a Larico Treadwell field goal.

In reality both teams had a little trouble getting the ball to fall as this was a very physical and emotional matchup for the teams.

It was another player off the bench who led the Tigers in scoring, senior Rodney Gray who had 13 points. Gray just joined the team last week at the conclusion of the football season. He was a member of the Tiger state championship football team.

Three more Tigers scored in double figures to help secure the Tiger win. Shawn Daniels chipped in 12 points, followed by Jarred Pope with 11 and Joseph Hankins with 10.

After Olive Branch went up 7-2 on a steal and field goal, it was a slam dunk by Hankins which brought the Tigers back within three points. That margin was short-lived as Olive Branch was able to convert more baskets than the Tigers.

Olive Branch had pulled out to a 13-5 lead but a free throw by Anthony Nelson, and an offensive rebound and subsequent basket by Daniels, closed the gap 13-8 with 1:31 left in the first quarter.

The Tigers took the lead for the first time in the second quarter with 6:03 left on the clock on an offensive rebound and field goal by Nelson, 16-15. Nelson missed the possible three point play on the free throw but Daniels stole the ball and scored with 5:39 left in the first half to go up 18-15.

Olive Branch kept the game within one to three points. The Conquistadors, "Quistors," tied the game at 22 with 3:34 left to go on a three-pointer and retook the lead on two free throws 24-22. They went back up 26-23 with 2:42 left in the half.

The Tigers were able to capitalize on some turnovers by the Quistors and retook the lead on a Hankins offensive rebound and field goal with 1:42 left in the half.

The Tigers took a 29-28 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter, the lead changed hands five times in the first three minutes and 13 seconds.

Olive Branch hit a three-pointer to take the lead in the opening basket 31-29. Hankins tied the score at 31 on a field goal.

The Tigers pulled away on two consecutive three-pointers by Pope 37-35 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.

A steal by Treadwell and basket by Daniels gave them some breathing room at 39-35 with 4:28 on the clock. Olive Branch was by no means out of the game.

The Quistors pulled back within two points at the 3:56 mark 39-37, but the Tigers went on a 10-2 scoring spree and led by 10 points, 49-39 with 45.4 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Quistors scored the final basket of the third quarter but the Tigers still lead 49-41.

Both of the teams’ huddles produced some results in the fourth quarter. The teams were each determined they would exit this game the winner.

Olive Branch stepped up its defense to strip the ball from the Tigers and pulled within four points, 56-52 with 3:00 left in the game.

The Tigers were in a scoring slump for about a minute and a half but thankfully to the Tigers Olive Branch was feeling some of that slump.

It was South Panola’s Justin Vaughn who scored all six of his points in the final 2:39 of the game to keep the Tigers afloat. Vaughn hit a field goal and sank four of four free throws.

The Tigers led 62-56 after Vaughn’s free throws with 47.7 left in the game.

The Quistors stole the ball and scored with 20.6 seconds to cut the lead 62-58.

Pope hit a free throw with 18.1 seconds left for a 63-58 lead. The Quistors countered with a field goal at the 14 second mark to cut the Tiger lead to 63-60.

Olive Branch fouled Rod Moore with 9.9 seconds left on the clock and he hit one of two for the 64-60 or two possession lead.

Olive Branch scored the final points on a three-pointer with 3.3 seconds left in the game. The Quistors said they tried to stop the clock with one second left but the official overrode it and declared the game over.

The Tigers are on holiday break and will return to action next year in the Oxford tournament January 5-7.

Cougars defeat Palmer earlier this season; fell hard to Byhalia
By Donna Taylor

The men of North Panola High garnered their first win against Madison S. Palmer 49-45 December 6 on the road.

According to Head Coach Jamone Edwards the Cougars enjoyed the win.

"I’m looking forward to build the rest of the season," Edwards said with pride.

In that game, Roderick Jefferson, also a stand out football player for the school, was the high scorer with 14 points. Center Mario Finley tossed in 10 points to help the Cougars get the win.

Jeremy Johnson added 12 points for the Cougars and Jason Roberson scored six.

In the Byhalia game, December 9 at home, the Cougars lost 73-55, and once again, the dual role athletes gave it their all, but couldn’t come away with the win.

"The score does not indicate the level of the team," Coach Edwards said. "The team is really starting to gel."

Byhalia got the opening tip off and never looked back. They scored on the first possession, and North Panola didn’t get a basket until the 3:18 mark in the first quarter. Johnson was credited with that bucket.

The most exciting play of the quarter was a buzzer beating basket, a three pointer, by Mario Finley. It moved the crowd, but was not not enough for a victory. The score at that juncture was 13 to 9.

Bruce Wilbourn, another star football player, also lit up the basketball court. Wilbourn is versatile and shows that he is a team player, according to Edwards. When he is not shooting, he still follows the shot of other players and when they miss, he is there to tip the ball in. He did that on several occasions against Byhalia.

The half time score was 37-22 Byhalia. Some halftime stats include Jefferson with three turnovers, two defensive rebounds and three offensive rebounds. Roberson and Finley each had five rebounds.

In the third quarter, Byhalia began a massive scoring assault on the Cougars from which they could not fully recover.

Byhalia is coached by Charles Gillespie of Olive Branch. Gillespie said he is in his 11th year as head coach, and once was the head coach at Coldwater. Byhalia’s record at the time was 9-6.

One of Gillespie’s players attempted a slam dunk, but missed. On his second try, Byhalia made a slam so impressive Cougars fans were oohing and aahing.

SP Lady Tigers fall to OB
By Myra Bean

Baskets were few and far between as the South Panola Lady Tigers fell to the Olive Branch Lady Conquistadors 47-25 Thursday night in a district matchup.

Opportunities were there but the ball just would not roll for the ladies.

South Panola did not score its first basket until 4:20 left in the first quarter on a Sabrina Townsend three-pointer. After that ball broke the ice, the Lady Tigers did pull within two points, 9-7, with 43 seconds left in the quarter.

At the end of the quarter Olive Branch led 11-7.

Olive Branch was over its first quarter jitters and went on an 18-2 scoring spree to lead 27-9 with 1:49 left in the half. The Quistors led 30-11 at the half.

Things did not get much better in the second half for the Lady Tigers. They did manage to score some but Olive Branch led 39-23 at the end of the third quarter. South Panola could only score two points in the fourth quarter with 6:17 left in the game. That was the final basket for the Lady Tigers.

No Lady Tiger scored in double figures. Vetorra Cole and Courtney D. Jones led the Lady Tigers with eight points each. The Lady Tigers are on Christmas break and will return to action in the Oxford Tournament January 5-7.




Copyright 2005-2006 by The Panolian, Inc..  All rights reserved
Copyright 2001-2004 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.