Sports / Outdoors – 12/23/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 23, 2005

The Panolian: SPORTS – December 23, 2005

  From the 12/23/05 issue of The Panolian        *NEW*


Strong tapped defensive player of the year
     South Panola junior linebacker Chris Strong was tabbed the Mississippi Association of Coaches’ defensive player of the year.
By Myra Bean

Honors keep flowing in for members of the 2005 nationally ranked South Panola Tiger team.

The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) released its choices for special awards.
South Panola finished one place up in the final USA Today national poll and remained steady in the Tony Poll released this week.

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In the National Tony Poll the Tigers finished as No. 4 in the nation behind Carroll of Southlake, Texas, Byrnes of South Carolina and Springdale of Arkansas.

In the USA Today, the Tigers finished No. 6 in the nation and in its extra point section quarterback Leroy Diggs was highlighted for his performance in the state championship game.

In 5A, All-State honors went to junior linebacker Chris Strong of South Panola as defensive player of the year and Anthony Summers of Olive Branch as offensive player of the year. Strong was also recognized on The Clarion-Ledger’s All-State team first defense, linebacker.

Strong was the leading tackler with 81 total this year. He had four sacks and one fumble recovery and caused one fumble this past season.

The coach of the year was not announced.

On first team offense were:

Tackles – South Oakes of South Panola and
Trey Curtis of Vicksburg.

Oakes was chosen for The Clarion-Ledger’s first team offense in 2005.

Center – Josh Boren of South Panola. Boren was also the MAC’s first team offense center in 2004 and made The Clarion-Ledger second team offense, offensive lineman in 2004.

Boren was just chosen for The Clarion-Ledger first team offense for 2005.

Fullback – Jeramie Griffin of South Panola. Griffin rushed for 1,116 yards, 255 reception yards and scored 14 touchdowns this past season.

On first team defense was free safety Kerry Hoskins of South Panola who led the Tigers with six interceptions this season.

Making the second team offense were: senior offensive lineman Garret Stone, senior tailback Rickey Sanford and junior quarterback Leroy Diggs.

Sanford rushed for 1,791 yards and scored 27 touchdowns. Diggs rushed for 1,415 yards and scored 15 touchdowns.

On second team defense was senior defensive end Justin Harris. Harris was the second leading tackler with 69, eight and a half sacks, caused one fumble and recovered one fumble.

Final 2005 Super 25
USA Today Football Rankings
December 20, 2005
Extra points: QB Leroy Diggs of No. 6 South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) ran for 150 yards and scored four times in a 52-14 win over Meridian in the Class 5A final. Teammate Ricky Sanford added 210 yards rushing and three TDs. South Panola coach Ricky Woods is 59-1 in four seasons.
1. Lakeland, Fla. (15-0)
2. Southlake (Texas) Carroll (16-0)
3. Independence, Charlotte (15-0)
4. Springdale, Ark. (14-0)
5. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (14-0)
6. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (15-0)
7. Byrnes, Duncan, S.C. (15-0)
8. Hoover, Ala. (14-1)
9. Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (14-0)
10. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale (13-1)
11. Lowndes, Valdosta, Ga. (14-1)
12. Gilman School, Baltimore (9-0)
13. St. Bonaventure, Ventura, Calif. (14-0)
14. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (11-1)
15. Warren Central, Indianapolis (14-1)
16. Morris, Ill. (14-0)
17. McKeesport, Pa. (14-2)
18. Dominguez, Compton, Calif. (13-1)
19. Euless (Texas) Trinity (14-1)
20. Mission Viejo, Calif. (12-1)
21. Brophy Prep, Phoenix (13-1)
22. Union, Tulsa (13-1)
23. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (11-2)
24. Westfield, Spring, Texas (11-1)
25. St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J. (12-0)

North Delta’s Dustin Maples was selected by the Mississippi Private School Association for its first team offense running back.


Great job, Tigers and Merry Christmas
By Myra Bean

As we prepare for Christmas and the new year and as I get ready to go on vacation, I want to say congratula-tions to the Tiger football team.

I hope you do not feel it is kind of late coming from me but I am so proud of you.

I am proud that you went out and proved that the same drive that the championship teams of the past had is in you.

Congratulations to head coach Ricky Woods and the whole coaching staff. The coaches say it is all on the players but it still takes great leadership to get the players to and through the state championships.

The honor Coach Woods received being named coach of the year is a reflection of the great coaching staff behind him and the recognition is well-deserved.

I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year. I don’t see a reason why this team can’t be state champs again next year.

No pressure by the way!

There is no way we can go into this holiday season without remembering those who won’t be with us this year.

The recent tragedy with Camille Willis, Leslie Pitcock, Graham Carson, Ethel Toliver and Brandon Presley will be with us a long time.

I knew Camille and Brandon well. They always liked for me to take their photos. I always tried to oblige. I can just see their faces now as they would get set with a few other friends around for me to take their photos.

They were both leaders in their respective schools and were becoming leaders in their current endeavors.

When Danielle Willis was asked if there was anything anybody could do or say, she said to just pray.

So let’s remember these and all the other families this Christmas who are without their loved ones.

Jesus said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you."

Take that peace and claim it so that you can make it through the season.

So to everyone out there, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Final National Tony Poll
December 19, 2005
1. Carroll – Southlake, Texas
2. Byrnes – Duncan, S. C.
3. Springdale – Springdale, Ark.
4. South Panola – Batesville
5. Independence – Charlotte, N.C.
6. St. Xavier – Cincinnati, Ohio
7. Hoover – Hoover, Ala.
8. Lakeland – Lakeland, Fla.
9. Ferndale – Ferndale, Wash.
10. Lincoln-Way East – Frankfort, Ill.
11. Warren Central
12. Morris – Morris, Ill.
13. Union, Tulsa, Oklahoma
14. West Monroe – West Monroe, La
15. Kahuku – Kahuku, Hawaii
16. Statesboro – Statesboro , Ga
17. Maryville – Maryville, Tenn.
18. Skyline – Sammamish, Wash.
19. Hampton – Hampton, Va.
20. Morgantown – Morgantown, W.Va.
21. Raymore-Peculiar – Peculiar, Mo.
22. Highland Park – Highland Park, Texas
23. Trinity – Euless, Texas
24. Valley – West DesMoines, Iowa
25. Damascus – Damascus, Maryland





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