| Townsends count going to see Deshea in Super Bowl a blessing
| Members of Pittsburgh Steeler Deshea Townsend family were all decked out in their Steeler gear in preparation for the trip to Detroit, Mich. this weekend for the Super Bowl Sunday. Some family members left Thursday and some left early Friday morning. The Steelers will meet the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL which will be televised on ABC at 5 p.m.
Members of the Townsend extended family include (first row, l to r) Tia Townsend, Tamara Townsend,
(second row, l to r) Robert Derrick Hentz II, Kha’lena Hentz, Demetric Wright II,
(third row, l to r) Andriara Cauthen, Nyanthia Townsend, Christopher Townsend II,
LaMeshia Wright, sister;
(fourth row, l to r) Willie B. Townsend, father; Christopher Towsend Sr., brother, D’Untae Wright, Sabrina Towsend, Terry Townsend, brother, Danielle Townsend and Patrina Townsend. Not pictured is Prescilla Hentz, sister.
| By Myra Bean
There was no way to contain the excitement of the Townsend family as they prepared to take a long road trip to Detroit, Mich. to see son, brother, uncle, in-law or whatever play in the Super Bowl.
Deshea Townsend plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Steelers will be the host team in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
"This is a once in a lifetime experience," said niece Andriara Cauthen. "I had to take off work. I’m so excited."
Sister LaMeisha Townsend Wright said, "It is just a blessing all around."
Cauthen chipped in and said, "We are going to win. We are going to bring it to the house."
Big brother Chris said, "I am so excited. I am just proud of Deshea, all the Steelers and their hard work and we are going to bring back the championship."
All Dad, Willie B., had to say was, "Love and respect is what we have for all of them."
Niece Kha’lena Hentz said, "Good luck, Uncle Shea."
Nephew Chris II said, "I am proud of my uncle, proud of the Steelers and I hope they come out victorious."
Sister-in-law Nyanthia Lloyd Townsend remembers back to the first state championship in which Deshea helped lead the South Panola Tigers in 1993.
"We are so excited and proud of Deshea and the Steelers," Nyanthia said. "When Chris and I got married the weekend Deshea led South Panola to the championship 12 years ago, it was a very exciting weekend for me and 12 years later after Alabama. Now, he’s with the Steelers and it’s another exciting weekend for me and my family.
"We love you, Deshea," she added.
Even though Pittsburgh will be the host team, last week head coach Bill Cowher made the decision to wear the white away uniform instead of the black home uniform. That sparked some controversy among the fans for a little while, but in a recent interview, Deshea Townsend said that does not matter to them.
"Casey Hampton said that he would rather wear the black because the white made him look to big," Deshea laughingly said.
Hampton is the nose tackle at 6’1" and 325 pounds.
"It doesn’t matter," Deshea added. "We are just happy to be in the Super Bowl and representing Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl."
Two different times have been published for kickoff. has the kickoff at 5 p.m. central.
| Cougars down Warriors 72-60
| The North Panola Cougars picked up their fifth win of the season with a 72-60 district win over Senatobia Tuesday night.
The Cougars had a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Senatobia battled back in the second quarter for a 24-22 halftime lead.
After a good "talking to" at halftime, the Cougars stormed back and outscored the Warriors 26-15 in the third quarter. The Cougars added another 21 points in the fourth quarter to pad its lead and hold on for the win.
Cougar Roderick Jefferson led all scorers with 21 points, followed by Rodregus Black with 16 points and Jeremy Johnson with 15 points.
The Lady Cougars lost by a score 55-29 and are still looking for a second win of the season.
After one quarter, the game was 17-1 in favor of the Senatobia Lady Warriors. At the half the Cougars trailed by a score of 31-10. At the end of the third, the Warriors were ahead by a margin of 46-18.
Jessica Wilson was the only Lady Cougar to score in double figures with 11 points.
The Cougar teams will be back in action tonight to host Independence in district play at 6 p.m.
| SP cheerleaders to hold show for public
| The South Panola competitive cheerleading squad will have a "Show Night" Wednesday, February 8 at the Batesville Jr. High School gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to see their performance.
The cheerleaders leave on Thursday, February 9 when they will compete in the National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Fla. from February 10-14.
The next fundraiser for the cheerleading squad will be on Saturday, February 5 from 9:00-1:00 at Wal Mart. The squad will have their annual Super Bowl Sale with many types of Super Bowl party foods.
| Fastpitch camp slated
| South Panola fastpitch Lady Tiger Summer Gee was working on fielding balls this week during practice. The fastpitch team will begin the season Tuesday, February 21 at Madison Central. See upcoming camp information below for girls ages kindergarten through eighth grade.
| The South Panola fastpitch softball team will hold a fastpitch camp with instructor Lisa Lewis on Saturday, February 11.
Registration will be held from 12 to 12:30 p.m. and the camp will be from 12:30 to 3 p.m.
Instruction will be for girls ages kindergarten through eighth grade.
Lewis will teach basic fundamental instruction in hitting, catching, throwing, fielding, base running and pitching.
Parents/coaches are welcome and encouraged to attend and ask questions.
The cost is $25 per child or $45 for two sisters and includes two tickets to the South Panola vs. Grenada home game on Saturday, February 25 at noon.
| Letters of Intent
| South Panola wide receiver Rodney Gray signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of Southern Mississippi with his mother, Darlene Harris, and South Panola head coach Ricky Woods as witness.
Signing national letters of intent to play with Northeast Community College were Willie Oliver and South Oakes.
South Panola’s Kareem "Moody" Carr and Tarus "Bull" Young signed national letters of intent to play with Itawamba Community College on Wednesday.
South Panola players who signed letters of intent to play with Northwest Community college were Rickey Sanford and Teddy Flowers.
| South Panola defensive back Kerry Hoskins (front, center) signed a national letter of intent to play at Jackson State University with his parents Linda and Dennis Hoskins and head coach Ricky Woods as witnesses.
| Former Tigers sign with major universities
| Former South Panola players were among the thousands of athletes to sign to play football at major universities in the coming fall.
Ladaryl Kirkwood, offensive lineman with Northwest Community College, will join Batesville native Rickey Wright at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark. in the fall.
Nikko Doyle, linebacker at Northeast Community College, signed to play at Troy State University in Troy, Ala.
John Jerry, offensive lineman of Hargrave Academy, signed to play with Ole Miss.
| Tigers take 4th quarter lead for game
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola Tigers ran through Southaven two weeks ago, but found themselves pacing the Chargers Tuesday night.
Though the Tigers eventually emerged the 57-53 winners, it was by no means easy.
It was a back-and-forth game for the district foes as they battled for dominance on the court.
The lead exchanged hands many times through the game as the Tigers were down 13-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers led 6-2 at the beginning of the quarter but Southaven caught up and passed them.
In the second quarter, the Tigers were riddled with fouls. Starting point guard Rod Moore was hit with his fourth foul call with 5:30 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers held the Chargers scoreless until 4:26 left in the quarter, but had caught up and passed them, 14-13, on a field goal by Joseph Hankins on an assist by Jarred Pope with 4:36 left.
Then it was off to the races as the two teams again battled for the lead to end the half. It was again the Chargers who eeked out the 25-24 halftime lead.
The third quarter comeback Tigers were in evidence as they would reclaim the lead in the third quarter. The Chargers would catch up with the Tigers with the 39-38 fourth quarter lead.
The Tigers actually got the lead up to five points a couple of times, but the main point is they led throughout the fourth quarter and hung on for the win.
The Tigers will play the final home game Friday as they host Desoto Central in non-conference action following the girls’ game at 6 p.m.
| Lady Tigers improve but fall to Chargers
| By Myra Bean
Depending on who you ask, the South Panola and Southaven teams gave each other some trouble Tuesday night.
The South Panola Lady Tigers (9-15 overall, 1-5 district) made a better accounting of themselves Tuesday night than they did January 17 in Southaven.
Tuesday, the Lady Tigers fell 44-40 unlike the first time these two teams met and the Lady Tigers fell 61-41.
There was a time Tuesday night when it looked as if the Lady Tigers would pull the win out of the hands of the Southaven Lady Chargers. The Lady Chargers knew what to do to keep the Lady Tigers off.
After the 6-0 Southaven start in the first quarter, the game was close throughout.
The Lady Tigers battled back and tied the score at six on a three-point play, field goal and free throw, by Sabrina Townsend with 5:01 left in the first quarter.
The Lady Tigers hustled along with the Lady Chargers. At the end of the quarter, South Panola led 14-12.
The game was tied four times in the first quarter and the lead changed hands five times. There were three ties in the second quarter and the lead changed hands five times as Southaven took a 26-24 lead into halftime.
The game was tied at 24 and Southaven scored with 2.8 seconds left on the clock to take the halftime lead.
Southaven actually led by nine at one point in the third quarter 33-24 and kept the Lady Tigers scoreless until the 4:21 mark. Then it was the Lady Tigers? time as they tied the score at 36 on a Tenisha Mitchell steal and field goal with 1:14 left in the quarter. That score stood going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Tigers were never able to take advantage and pull ahead in the fourth quarter as Southaven hung on for the win.
Mitchell was the high scorer for the Lady Tigers with 12 points, followed by Townsend with 10.
The Lady Tigers are back in action tonight at 6 p.m. to host Desoto Central in the final home game of the season.
Next week the Lady Tigers will be in Independence on Tuesday and Clarksdale on Friday to close out the regular season.
| Como to host tourney
| Como Middle School basketball team will host the Como Invitational Tournament, Saturday,
Game 1 Tunica girls vs. Como girls 1 p.m.
Game 2 Tunica boys vs. Como boys 1:50 p.m.
Game 3 Tunica boys vs. Coldwater boys 2:40 p.m.
Game 4 Tunica boys vs. Coldwater boy 3:30 p.m.
Game 5 Coldwater girls vs. Como girls 4:20 p.m.
Game 6 Coldwater boys vs. Como boys 5:10 p.m.