Sports / Outdoors – 6/20/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – June 20, 2006

  From the 6/20/06 issue of The Panolian

The Panola County Rebel Club will host Ole Miss head basketball coach Andy Kennedy Tuesday, June 20 at the Panola Country Club.
     The social begins at 6 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m. Cost is $15 per person and includes hors d’oeuvres. Everyone is invited and the attire is casual.
     For more information, call Tom Womble at (662) 563-8736 or or Gina Kilgore at (662) 563-2210 or or Sherry Williams at (662) 563-1436.
SP cheerleaders sell ads
The South Panola Cheerleaders will sell ads for the football program for the South Panola Tiger Football team beginning June 19 thru July 13.
    Anyone interested in purchasing ads may contact any high school cheerleader or Tammy Wilkinson at or 662-563-4503. Ads may be purchased for businesses or for individuals. No political ads of any kind will be sold.
Youth Fishing Rodeo June 24
The 2006 Sardis Lake Youth Fishing Rodeo will be held on June 24 at the Sardis Lower Lake-Cypress Point Area. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. and the rodeo will start at 7:30 a.m. Age classes are 1-5 years old, 6-10 years old, and 11-15 years old. Trophies and prizes will be awarded for each age class.
     For more information please contact Rangers Chris Gurner or Brian Johnson at the Sardis Lake Field Office (662) 563-4531.
The South Panola Cheerleaders will host the "Spirit of Cheer" men’s softball tournament, Saturday,
June 24
at Trussell Park.
     The double elimination tournament will be conducted under ASA rules by umpires. Cost is $150 per team. To participate or for more information, contact Byron Houston at 662-647-1312.
The South Panola Cheerleaders will sell ads for the football program for the South Panola Tiger Football team through July 13. Anyone interested in purchasing ads may contact any high school cheerleader or Tammy Wilkinson at or 662-563-4503. Ads may be purchased for businesses or for individuals. No political ads of any kind will be sold.
SP Kiddie cheer Camp set
The South Panola cheerleaders will hold Cheerleading Kiddie Camp 2006, Monday through Thursday,
July 24-27
from 5 to 7 nightly at the South Panola High School gymnasium.
     The cost is $40 per child for ages 5 to 12 which includes a camp t-shirt.
     Registration will be held Monday, July 24 from 4:15 to 5 p.m.
     Family night is Thursday, July 27 at 7 p.m. Admission is free to family night. Performances will be by the No. 5 nationally ranked South Panola High School cheerleaders, the Batesville Jr. High cheerleaders and all the children who attend Kiddie Camp. For more information, contact Tammy Wilkinson at or 662-563-4503.
Russo keeps Green Waves busy
By Myra Bean

Though it has been a month since the spring jamboree, the North Delta football players have not been sitting around doing nothing.

Head coach Richard Russo opens up the field house four days a week for the players to come in, work out and get conditioned for the fall season.

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The field house is open 7 to 10 a.m. every weekday except Wednesday. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evening from 4 to 7 the field house is open again. The players are only allowed to work out an hour per day.

In addition to the workouts , Russo and assistant coaches Brad Wilson and David Hardy and volunteer coach Adam Waldrup, are alternating upper body/speed and lower body/endurance workouts.

That is not all. In addition to the workouts, the players can participate in team specific drills.

"One night we had offensive line drills," Russo said. "This week we will do nothing but defensive line, linebacker drills. Next week will be kicking drills. We are really breaking it down and trying to teach them things."

On Thursday nights in June North Delta holds a 7-on-7 situation which is passing and defending the pass.

The players have to set their own goals for working out, according to Russo. He gave them a schedule and a reward level.

"You have to get 10 (workouts) to be on the team with no suspension," Russo said. "Once you get 15, 20, 25 and 30, you get rewards. That encourages kids to come out, give up their summer, give up their time."

With these workouts, Russo said he is getting to see the players throughout the summer and helping them become better football players.

"If we have to give them a name on the back of their jerseys to do that, that’s all great," he said. "I don’t see a problem with that. Kids giving up their summertime deserve to be awarded. I’m getting the benefit because my team’s going to be better."

Some awards to be given at the end of the season are the Practice Player of the Year and the Lifetime Captain of the Year.

The coaches will chose the Practice Player of the Year like they chose the players to receive the Brandon Presley Memorial Award for the outstanding player of the spring season.

"I think it is very important to recognize a player who may not start offense or defense but busts his butt every day in practice and make you a better team," Russo said. "This is someone who gives up his body every day in practice for the betterment of the team. People in the stands on Friday nights don’t see that player who busts his butt in practice."

The players will choose an offensive, defensive and special teams player to receive the Lifetime Captain of the Year Award.

"To me this is the highest honor you can receive as a Green Wave football player," Russo said. "Nobody but the players in that locker room votes on the lifetime captains. A lot of times coaches will see a player one way and the players will see them totally different. To be voted by your teammates as a lifetime captain is a big honor.

"In order for someone to vote for you as lifetime captain, you must be a team guy." Russo added. "I would never vote for some body who tries to tear apart the team."

Since the spring jamboree, the coach and team have watched the film over and over again, according to Russo.

Russo said they saw some problems with the offensive line.

"We have to really understand what a block is," he said. "We have to understand what it means to down block, what it means to zone block. We weren’t real clear about that going into the game and it showed on film. We had several blocking assignments that were not correct."

Conditioning was also a concern coming out of spring practice.

"I only had them for four weeks," he said. "We are hitting that hard this summer so that when fall camp rolls around, we will be in a lot better shape. That will make us a better football team."

Russo could do nothing but compliment the effort of the team during the spring.

"I thought our effort was good," he said. "Anytime your effort is good, that is a great things. That means our kids are working hard and I can’t complain about our effort.

"I gave spring an overall A," Russo added. "I’m not saying we are an A offense or an A defense. I’m saying the effort, enthusiasm and attitude were
an A."

Russo would like to take the team to camp, but feels since this is his first year, they need to concentrate on themselves.

"I am encouraging kids to go on their own," he said. "This summer we have three kids going to the Manning Passing camp in Louisiana first week in July, one sophomore and two freshmen."

Russo said he has learned what he basically knew coming into his first head coaching job is that he has to wear a "million hats."

"It’s great and I love every minute of it," he said. "It’s all about building relationships with players, assistant coaches, faculty, the parents, the community. I have been doing that as an assistant coach but it’s at another level."

Ware talks nothing but team at North Delta
     North Delta senior offensive lineman Jon Michael Ware studies up on the upcoming season.
By Myra Bean

If no one else at North Delta got the go-ahead word, Jon Michael Ware did. Team is what the upcoming Green Wave team is all about.

Ware was the recipient of the first ever Brandon Presley Memorial Award for the outstanding player during spring practice.

This was an award started by new head coach Richard Russo.

"Jon Michael got that award because as coaches he embodies the idea of team that we were looking for this spring," Russo said.

As for why he received the award, Ware said he had to make every spring practice.

"You have to get your team up when you are down," he said. "I had to know how to do that. Being a leader, I guess. I was going out there doing what I had to do."

Ware said he did not know Presley very well but he felt great receiving the award.

"The main thing for him is he was in the military," Ware explained. "For him to go over there and risk his life for all of ours, that means more than anything to me."

Ware is taking the message of team to his teammates as he speaks of the upcoming fall season.

North Delta has experienced some good winning seasons the last few years, but two losses last year kept them out of the playoffs. One loss in 2004 kept them out of the state championship game.

Realistically, in order to reach the state championship game, Ware said the Green Wave players will have to come together as one.

"You have to be a team to go anywhere," he said. "One guy is not going to take you anywhere. We are trying to unite this team. We are working our tails off in the weightroom. We are trying to get better and stronger.

"The first day of practice we are all going to have to come together and say, ‘Look, we are doing this as a team. In order to be a team, we all have to be on the same page or you are not going to go to Jackson.’ The teams that have gone to Jackson are on the same page and actually are a team,"he added.

Ware named Brandon Ciaramitaro and Cody Hallmark of the 2004 team which went 12-1 as being leaders he looked up to and learned from the last two years. Some players from last year Ware listed included Jacob Gurley and Patrick Ellis.

"They kept the team going too," Ware said. "They kept us all motivated and crazy on the field. They were good guys and I learned a lot from them in how to lead and how to try to be a leader. They taught me a lot."

Ware said he was hoping he would have an impact on the team as a leader.

"Every since the year we lost to Simpson, I saw those leaders and said I wanted to be just like them," Ware stated. "We went further that year than we have ever been. We just played a team which was better than us. I thought we could have had them but we just made a few mistakes."

According to Ware, the team goals remain the same and that is to make it to the state championship.

"We want to win every game," he said. "Even if we don’t win every game, we want to try our hardest, go all out every play. We just want to work hard and get it done."

That is what the coaches have asked of him, Ware said.

"The coaches have asked us to work our tails off being good leaders and striving for excellence," he said. "Like Coach Russo told us, it does not matter if you win or lose, just that you go out every play in every game. That is what he is looking for."

As for being under a new coach, Ware said it was different.

"After having the same coach for three years and knowing things, it’s different," he said. "It’s good. I like the way he did it. He is doing an excellent job. I think everybody else’s attitude is pretty good. We are just going to do whatever he tells us to do. We all have kind of adjusted and we like it."

Ware described his new coach as being "a crazy guy."

"We all love him," he said.

After the spring practice, Ware who is an offensive lineman, said the offense needs some work.

"Our defense is on the page pretty good," he said. "I know when we get out here for two-a-days we will get it done. We will get it down and we will know exactly what to do.

"I just have a good feeling about this year," he continued. "I think we are going to do pretty good this year."

He is the son of Don and Alecia Ware and has one sister, Allie. He is the grandson of Ann and Sam Cobb of Batesville.

SP and Clarksdale to meet on Friday
The South Panola Tigers will play their first game against Clarksdale on Friday, August 25, not Thursday August 24 as first reported. The schedule has changed because Clarksdale will not play on their field on Thursday, according to Tiger coach Ricky Woods.

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