Sports / Outdoors – 7/25/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – July 25, 2006

  From the 7/25/06 issue of The Panolian    

Season tickets for the 2006 football season are on sale through August 4, for people who previously held season tickets from last year.
     Tickets may be purchased for $45 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.
South Panola Cheerleaders will hold Cheerleading Kiddie Camp 2006 family night 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 South Panola Junior High School cheerleaders and all the children who attend Kiddie Camp. For more information, contact Tammy Wilkinson at  or 662-563-4503.
Unique Sports Academy, to benefit the Youth Foundation in Charleston, will present The Rock River Classic softball tournament. The tournament will be held August 4-6 at Grenada.
     Call went out for All-star teams for age groups 8 and under to 14 and under in Dizzy Dean, Dixey Youth, Babe Ruth, Cal-Ripken and USSSA. Deadline is July 31. Call Cedric Terry for more information in Charleston (662) 647-1366 or email
Conxion Angels 12 year old tryout camp will be held Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5, at 4 p.m. at Nesbit Baptist Church. Players should plan to attend both days and must be 12 years old or under on April 30, 2007.
     Conxion Angels will play at the AAA level and players receive professional instruction with Conxion staff and access to indoor facility. For more information, call 901-494-1088 or 901-487-8086.
South Panola High School baseball will host an "Old Timers Benefit Baseball" tournament on Saturday, September 16. Tickets are $6 and may be purchased at the South Panola High School Office, from Shelter Insurance, any player or parent.
     Fee includes admission and a chicken plate. Proceeds will benefit the four baseball players who were injured in a car accident recently.
     Any former South Panola baseball player is eligible to play. To play contact coach Brad Lightsey at 934-5000 or Ben or Randy Boren at Shelter Insurance 563-2772.
A concert to benefit the South Panola High School Competition Cheerleaders will be held on Saturday, August 19 at The Eureka. The Lighthorse Harry Band will perform music from the ’60s and ’70s.
     This benefit is to assist with financing the cheerleaders’ February 2007 trip to national competition in Orlando, Florida. Special guests will be cheerleader coach Tammy Wilkinson, SPHS head football coach Ricky Woods, and the "Voices of the Tigers," Judge George C. Carlson, Bob Norris, Steve Wingert.
     For information and reserved seating, call Serena Morrow at 609-9777.
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.
Ole Miss announces No. 38 will be permanently retired
In Ole Miss’ storied 111-year football history – which has produced a share of three national championships, six Southeastern Conference titles, 31 bowl teams, 42 first-team All-Americans and sent over 200 players into the professional ranks – there has been only one player number ever retired.

That’s about to change as the University of Mississippi is preparing to grant the ultimate honor to another former football player.

To expand and insure the continuing legacy of the late Chucky Mullins, Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone announced Monday that the University will retire Mullins’ No. 38 football jersey during pregame ceremonies Sunday afternoon, Sept. 3, when the Rebels open the 2006 season here against the University of Memphis in a game to be nationally televised by ESPN.

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"The Ole Miss M-Club Alumni passed a resolution recommending the permanent retirement of Chucky’s No. 38," Boone said. "We are honored and pleased to do this.

"There are only a few people in this world that have the courage and competitive spirit to overcome the unbelievable obstacles Chucky faced," Boone said in announcing the decision to retire No. 38. "His legacy reaches beyond the football field and deserves to be memorialized as such. For 16 years we have remembered the contributions and standards of Chucky Mullins through passing on his number to an outstanding defensive player who lives his life by those same standards.

"It was decided that the ultimate way to honor Chucky Mullins and his legacy is the retiring of his No. 38 alongside Archie Manning’s No. 18, which was retired in 1986. These two men have set a standard for everyone who ever walked through the Grove or wore the Ole Miss colors."

Carver and Karen Phillips, who became Chucky’s legal guardians when he was in the seventh grade, are scheduled to participate in the pregame ceremony along with others who were closely associated with Chucky.

"It’s a blessing," Carver Phillips said when notified about the upcoming retirement of Chucky’s number. "This is an amazing honor for Chucky, and our family is very excited about it. I thought it would happen sooner or later. It’s going to be a great day for our family, and we look forward to representing and supporting Chucky."

Mullins, who was redshirted as a freshman in 1988, had his career come to a tragic end on Oct. 28, 1989, when he broke his neck while making a tackle against Vanderbilt, which left him paralyzed from the neck down. For months after the accident, Chucky endured the grueling challenges of rehabilitation, and his gritty "never quit" determination and positive spirit touched the lives of hundreds of people. The University raised more than a million dollars for the Chucky Mullins Trust Fund.

When Chucky returned to Oxford in August of 1990, he announced his determination to return to Ole Miss and pursue a degree. Against all odds, in January of 1991 he did return to the classroom. However, on May 1, 1991, as he prepared for class, he suddenly stopped breathing and then passed away on May 6, due to complications resulting from a blood clot.

The decision to retire Mullins’ No. 38 has its roots all the way back to his injury in 1989, and the possibility of retiring his number has repeatedly been discussed down through the years.

"We just think the timing is right to permanently retire the number," said Andy Kilpatrick, president of the M-Club Chapter of the University of Mississippi Alumni Association. "Chucky displayed unparalleled spirit and extraordinary courage and determination in conquering the challenges facing him which, following his death, resulted in the establishment of the Roy Lee "Chucky" Mullins Courage Award. Retiring his number will forever preserve and honor his indomitable sprit. It’s the right thing to do."

Since 1990, the Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner has been selected each spring, given to a senior defensive player. The winning player has worn Mullins’ No. 38 the following season. Previous winners, beginning in 1990, include Chris Mitchell, Jeff Carter, Trea Southerland, Johnny Dixon, Alundis Brice, Michael Lowery, Derek Jones, Nate Wayne, Gary Thigpen, Ronnie Heard, Anthony Magee, Kevin Thomas, Lanier Goethie, Jamil Northcutt, Eric Oliver and Kelvin Robinson.

All-America linebacker Patrick Willis was selected as the 2006 honoree, which was announced during the 17th annual Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet last April.

Since the number is being retired, plans call for Willis to wear a 38 patch on the front of his jersey in honor of Mullins. Manning’s No. 18 and Mullins’ No. 38 will also be prominently displayed inside Vaught-Hemingway Staduim/Hollingsworth Field.

"From what I have learned about him, Chucky was what every athlete should strive to be and the type person every parent would want," Willis said. "I will wear the No. 38 patch with pride and do my best in honoring his memory and the courage he displayed."

Willis battled through his All-America junior season in 2005 by continuing to play with a broken middle finger on his right hand, a sprained left knee, a right mid-foot injury and a partial AC joint separation of his right shoulder. He finished the season as the nation’s leader in solo tackles (9.00) and ranked No. 6 in the nation in total tackles (12.80). He also led the Southeastern Conference in tackles (12.8).

The Chucky Mullins Courage Award was initiated by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and the annual banquet is sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and Pi Beta Phi sorority.

As for the future of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet, Dr. Thomas Wallace, vice chancellor for student life at Ole Miss, believes the retiring of Mullins’ number will only enhance the success of the banquet.

"The significance of Chucky’s contribution and the Ole Miss tradition and honor will live on in the retirement of his number," Dr. Wallace said. "The Chucky Mullins Courage Award banquet will still be held annually, with the winner of the award being announced on that night. Proceeds from the banquet will still be used to assist Ole Miss students who are involved in serious accidents."

Another part of the Chucky Mullins Legacy involves the bronze bust of his likeness which is a major item in his trophy case housed in Hollingsworth-Manning Hall, located in the Michael S. Starnes Athletics Training Center.

For a number of years, the bust has been removed from the trophy case on game day and taken to the Ole Miss locker room, a tradition which began when Chucky’s former teammates were still members of the Rebel squad. Plans call for the bust to be placed on a platform to be located in the southwest corner of Hollingsworth Field where the Rebels exit the tunnel leading from the locker room to the field.

Cougars prepare to ‘shock’ this season
     These North Panola seniors, (left to right) Jarvis Taylor, Brandon Conrad and Mario Finley, are gearing up for the 2006 season in their new jerseys.
By Myra Bean

The North Panola team is getting together with the new coaching staff and going through conditioning exercises this summer.

Senior fullback/linebacker Brandon Conrad said "If we do get beat, it ain’t going to be because of no conditioning."

A new attitude is sweeping through the Cougar ranks, according to Finley.

He credited new head coach Vincent Johnson with bringing the "positive attitude."

"He is positive," Finley said. "We have changed our attitudes, changed our ways."

The players are talking more confident about their abilities on the football field for the upcoming season.

They are planning to "shock" everybody this year, according to senior tightend Jarvis Taylor.

"We shocked them one year by going to the playoffs," Taylor said. "We shocked them another year about going to the second round. We are going to show them what we are made of this year.
"We have to prove something to ourselves," Taylor added. "We are going to prove something to them."

Taylor said the coach has asked them as senior to step up and help lead the team on an off the field.

"He asks us to make sure everybody does right," Conrad said. "We are trying to have positive minds."

Finley said as seniors, they have to do right because their fellow students follow the lead of athletes.

"When we go to school, the students are going to do what the athletes do," Finley said. "If we have a positive attitude, everybody at the school will have a positive attitude."

Even though the players are working on their attitudes, they did mention how hot it was working out in the sun in the mornings.

"We are just getting back in shape from last season," Taylor said.

Conrad agreed.

"The heat is hard," he said. "It’s hard running in the heat but you have to put your mind to it and don’t let your mind be in control of your body. You know you have to be in shape. That is what the coach is doing."

The players are very serious about their senior year of football.

Finley said, "We are going to have to get at it, stop playing games. If you aren’t giving all you’ve got, you don’t need to be out there. All football players should play every down like it’s the last minute of the game."

As for some of their toughest opponents this year, Taylor listed the always tough Senatobia, Booneville and Water Valley.

Finley has a personal vendetta for Independence from last year.

"I ain’t worried about anybody but Independence," he said. "I have a hit for them. They took my spirit in football and basketball."

One other issue that troubles the players is there is a need for more players on the team, "bigger" players.

Some favorite football icons the players look up to are linebacker Ray Lewis and fullback Mike Alsott of the NFL.

Taylor is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Mack Taylor Jr. of Como. His grandparents are Rev. and Mrs. Mack Taylor Sr. of Como.

Conrad is the son of Linda Frison of Sardis and William Conrad of Como. His grandparents include Queen Norwood, Batesville and Mattie Pearl Conrad of Como.

Finley is the son of Cassandra Finley of Como and his grandmother is Earnestine Carter of Como.

Willie Earl Clark tournament set
Kendreick Barr, Darrin Ford and Melvin Barr have joined forces to sponsor the first annual Willie Earl Clark Invitational Softball Tournament to be held this weekend, July 29 and 30, at Patton Lane Park.

About six years ago, the City renamed the ballfield after "Pine" Clark, who was the "heart of Patton Lane," according to Barr.

In addition to starting the tournament, a scholarship fund will be established from the funds to help students who live in Ward 2.

Barr said he, Ford and Vaughn all got together to host this tournament in order to "do something for the community."

All tournament games will be played Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

Championship games will be played Sunday beginning at 4 p.m.

An entry fee of $75 will be collected from each team.

Concessions will be available. Music will be by Darrell Phillips. Tents will be set up to curtail some of the heat from the sun.

"We want to make this a family atmosphere," Barr said.

To help build up the scholarship, Barr said donations will be accepted.

"Pine was the type of person who would take us boys one on one and teach us the game," Barr said. "This is just something we can do to help remember him."

For more information, call Ford at 609-7212; Barr at 934-4239 or Vaughn at 934-0502.

Former NBA’s Pack to speak in Batesville
By Myra Bean

Former NBA player Robert "Pac Man" Pack will make a trip to Batesville Wednesday.

His reasons for the stop are children. He supports a foundation he started in 1997 that helps at risk children.

He was an at-risk student growing up in the "tough" neighborhood of Ward 9 in New Orleans, La. – the same area destroyed by Hurricane Katrina last summer.

Since finishing his 14th year in the NBA in 2005, Pack travels around talking to students about the importance of believing in themselves.

"Whatever you put your mind to, you can achieve," Pack said.

Pack will visit the students at the Tri-Lakes Medical West Campus Wednesday morning.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m., he will speak to the public, sign autographs and play a little basketball with any comers in the South Panola High School gymnasium.

Pack’s message include talking to students who have a lot of potential but lack the focus to stay away from the "bad things" in life like drugs, alcohol and gangs.

His main area of concentration include the children from low income families who also have low grade point averages in school who are on the brink of becoming high school dropouts.

"Those on the brink needs a light put on them," Pack said. "We have to figure out what is stopping them from getting the light turned on them. Until you put a light on a kid, you never know how bright they will shine."

At the University of Southern California, Pack got his degree in psychology and studied some other areas. He said he always knew this was what he wanted to concentrate on.

As an NBA player, Pack was never a starter on the teams in which he played including the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves and the New Orleans Hornets.

According to the NBA website, Pack was most famous for his performance in leading the Nuggets over the Seattle Supersonics, which was the first time ever in NBA history where an 8 seed beat a 1 seed. Standing 6’2, he was known as one of the game’s better dunkers during the first half of the 1990s, and one of the more spectacular in-game dunkers of all time among smaller players.

"Robert Pack was an explosive point guard who spent the biggest part of his 13 NBA seasons as a bench player due to frequent injuries," the website said.

Pack said, "My past didn’t stop me from having a successful life."

Pack said if he could just touch one child and help turn that child’s life around, that would be his goal.


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