Sports / Outdoors – 7/18/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – July 18, 2006

  From the 7/18/06 issue of The Panolian 

The South Panola High School baseball program will host a Fall Instructional League every Tuesday in September 2006 from 2 to 5 p.m. Children ages 10 to 13 can participate. The cost is $40 and includes a t-shirt. T-shirt sizes will be taken the first day of the session.
     The dates of the sessions will be September 5, 12, 19 and 26.
     Sessions will stress baseball fundamentals such as fielding, throwing, hitting, pitching and catching as well as squad games.
     For an application or more information, contact head baseball coach Patrick Robey at (662) 934-2104. Registration deadline is September 1.
Turner/Justice take reigns of ND Lady Wave softball
     New North Delta softball coaches are (left to right)
DeDe Justice
and Brooke Turner.
By Myra Bean

The North Delta fastpitch softball team had something to look forward to when they started practice yesterday morning.

Former Ole Miss players Brooke Turner, center fielder, and DeDe Justice, catcher, are the new coaches for the team.

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This will be a new turn for most of the players who have in the past only been coached by parent coaches.

"We are going to be harder on them," said head coach Turner. "We are going to be running more than they are probably used to and doing different exercises."

Turner originally hails from Southaven High School and Justice from Vero Beach High School in Vero Beach, Fla.

According to Turner, she was approached about the job from parent-coach Preston Lawrence. Lawrence and Turner’s father, Steven Turner, are good friends.

Turner did not make the statement about working harder and differently to scare the girls, but to let them know things will be different.

"We played high school, college and now coached this summer," Turner said. "We actually have both sides as a player and a coach. That kind of helps us a lot."

Justice said with them being so fresh out of playing college ball, they will structure practice similar to that.

"We’re not going to be as demanding (as college), but they are going to run," Justice said. "They are going to practice and do drills and stuff like that. It will be a completely different scene than what they are used to with the parent coaches who might not have as much as experience with softball where we have four years of high school and four years of college.

"We know how to structure practices and the drills we need to do to win ball games," Justice added. "We are not so far in coaching that we forgot what being a player is about."

One thing that caught the new coaches by surprise were the amount of games the private school teams play per week. North Delta is scheduled to play an average of three games per week.

"In our high school we played like twice a week," Turner said. "We started in February and ended in May. Ours was scattered out."

As for playing college ball, Turner said it was like a job.

"We had to be there," she said. "You didn’t have a choice what you did. It paid our way through school."

Justice explained the wrong concept most people had about college athletes.

"It’s hard," Justice said. "A lot of people think athletes slip by and it’s easy. With traveling, you have to work time schedules and know how to schedule when you eat, sleep, study."

She said a lot of studying in the spring was actually on a bus.

"A lot of times if we played doubleheaders on Saturday and a single on Sunday, we would have time after the games on Saturday to study and if you had a test on Monday, you would study on the bus or the plane trip all the way back home," she said. "You might as well study because it is really hard to sleep on the bus."

Before practice started, the coaches had only met five team members and they liked that.

"I feel it’s a good position for us," Justice said, "because then we can take what we see in practice and what we are trying to accomplish in practice and see how hard they are willing to work. If players are not willing to work, then they are not going to play."

Turner’s main goal is to see that the team improves over last season.

"I just want to see them get better," she said. "It will take time. From our first ball game to our last, I want to see a difference player wise. We are going to stick the best nine out there.

"Nobody’s guaranteed a spot right now," Turner continued. "We didn’t see them last year. We are going to ask what’s their position but they may not play there."

Turner’s also the daughter of Pam Ashford of Southaven and she has one sister.

Justice’s parents are H.L. and Deloris Justice in Florida. She is the baby of the family with one older sister and one older brother

"My parents are begging for me to come back home," Justice said. "I am not ready to go back just yet."

The Lady Green Waves will open the season tuesday, August 1, at home hosting Kirk Academy in A and B games beginning at 4 p.m.

SP season tickets go on sale
Season tickets for the 2006 football season will go on sale July 24 – August 4, for people who previousy held season tickets from last year.

Tickets may be purchaed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday thru Friday in the high school office. Remaining season tickets will go on sale to the public on August 7.

For more information, call 563-4756.

South Panola will open the season on Friday, August 25, in Clarksdale. The Tigers will play a preseason scrimmage in Jackson at Hughes Field, where Provine plays.

Participating in the scrimmage with South Panola and Provine will be Brandon High School.

Ciaramitaro prepares for last Northeast season
By Myra Bean

Brandon Ciaramitaro (Cim-a-ta-ro) built a name for himself at North Delta that has become a standard by which all other players set out to achieve.

In some recent interviews, Ciaramitaro’s name is the one that Green Wave players still say they look up to for high school sports.

"I am still in the weightroom every day, pumping it up, getting enthusiastic and showing them what it takes," he said. "It’s working hard. That’s the key. Anytime you are out doing something, try to be first."

The Northeast Community College student carried that standard with him to the junior college playing field. He started all nine games last year for the Tigers at left tackle.

"They put me into the left tackle, the best position on the line, protecting the blind side," Ciaramitaro said. "When recruiters come through, the first player they look at is ?where’s your left tackle.’"

Ciaramitaro said college life is busy and football is made up of "camp, team meetings and individual meetings."

Northeast in Booneville will report August 6.

"It is a lot different than high school," he said. "Games are a lot faster. You ain’t pushing everybody around that you are used to. You are playing against Division 1 competition."

The up surge of success at Northeast the last couple of years Ciaramitaro credits to the coaches recruiting harder and getting better players.

"I’m in Northwest district and they tried to protect me but I got out," he said. "Yeah, they wanted me there. I decided to go to Northeast. The coaches there are down home, good people."

Ciaramitaro will finish up in December and plans to transfer to a four-year university.

"I have not had an offer yet, a few places are talking a little bit, nothing real serious," he said.

He did allude to the possibility of the University of Memphis, University of Southern Mississippi and University of Alabama-Birmingham as possible schools he would like to play for.

"I’m good sized for them for the interior line," the 6’2" sophomore said.

Former South Panola head coach Ed Stanley joined the Northeast staff this past spring as the defensive coordinator.

David Wilkerson, former South Panola assistant coach, heads the offense and Brad Boyette is the offensive line coach.

Northeast will start the season out with some heavy hitters this fall with Jones County to open the season August 31 in Booneville, followed by Gulf Coast on September 7. After an open date on September 14, Northeast will host Northwest on September 21.

Ciaramitaro is studying physical education but would also like to study teaching and coaching. He likes math and history.

He is the son of Anthony Ciaramitaro Jr. of Frasier, Tenn. and Lisa Ciaramitaro of Holly Springs. He has two brothers and one sister. His grandparents are Anthony and Donna Ciaramitaro Sr. of Senatobia.

Mabry’s toughness makes mark on the gridiron
By Myra Bean

Dakota Mabry can be a runner’s worst nightmare on the football field.

North Delta’s senior linebacker/fullback is well known after he makes the acquaintance of the opposition’s runners. They don’t usually forget him.

Hitting hard and leaving them on the field is his motto, though he would never utter those words.

"I show them what needs to be done," Mabry said. "I do it on the field and not with the mouth."

Mabry weighs 206 pounds and bench presses 280 pounds. He is excitement on the field, personified.

After a hit when Mabry leaves his target on the field and walks away with a strut, that self-confidence of his gets the crowd roaring for the Green Wave team.

Going on the field, Mabry said, "You’ve got to have your head focused on what you are going to do. We want to get everybody ready for the game, get them fired up. Being ready when you go out there is about the only thoughts you can have."

Mabry has had some flags called on him on the football field and on the basketball court for his aggressive play. When others dispute the calls, Mabry turns away and looks to the sideline or to courtside to get further instructions from the coach as to the next move, as if the foul or whatever was not called.

"I do what I am supposed to do and let everything else fall," he said.

As a fullback carrying the ball or getting key blocks for his teammates, Mabry is a force to be reckoned with. Taking on one, two or even three defensive opponents is the norm for the him. He can still get some yards.

Mabry said he is adjusting to the coaching change.

"It is a little different, a little tougher," he said. "We have to redo everything we have learned from last year’s coach. It is a little complicated now but I think we are catching on pretty good. He is teaching us a lot of different stuff. I like it."

Mabry listed some differences the team is experiencing this year beginning with the plays, coaching and lifting.

"It was a little tough but we are catching on," he said.

As a leader, head coach Richard Russo has asked Mabry and others to "keep the team up."

"He asked us to give all we’ve got," Mabry said. "It doesn’t matter if you win or lose if you give all you’ve got. You will be winners in his book."

As for himself, Mabry set a high standard of conduct.

"If anything goes wrong, if I was to mess up or something, I don’t get down about it or let anyone else get down about it. We have to get everybody together as a team. Can’t win without a team if you ain’t together."

Mabry said he is hoping some leaders will step up and get everybody on the right page to keep the team upbeat as the season progresses.

Some weaknesses on the team Mabry sees are the team needs to get stronger and faster as a whole.

"We have to get a lot of people stronger," he said. "We are all working harder. We have to get stronger and faster than what we are.

"We have some guys coming back to join the team," he said. "We have the sophomores returning from last year. Hopefully, we will all get together and do what we have to do."

Going into the season, Mabry said conference foe Desoto, Ark. is expected to be tough, along with non-conference rivals Magnolia Heights and Lee Academy in Clarksdale.

One of the former players Mabry said he looks up to is Cody Hallmark.

"I look up to Cody Hallmark because he played the same position I played," Mabry said. "He is danged good. He went to another college. I looked up to him a lot."

Hallmark made plays like he was supposed to, according to Mabry.

"He respected the coaches and staff and everything," Mabry said. "He is one of the biggest leaders. I want to step up and be like him."

Mabry is the son of John and Kelly Mabry. He has one brother and one sister.


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