Sports / Outdoors – 8/1/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – August 1, 2006

  From the 8/1/06 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 pre-season scrimmage in Jackson at Hughes Field, where Provine plays.
     Participating in the scrimmage with South Panola and Provine will be Brandon High School.
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.
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.
Dizzy Dean Champs
     "We did it again!" said Terry Snider, head coach of the
16 and Under World Series Champions the BATESVILLE XPLOSIONS. Team members and coaches include (left to right) Hillari Plummer, Haley Walton, Robin Grace, Kenzi Reed, Lara Long, Emily Snider, Sabrina Townsend, Cortney Gordon, Kayla Roden, Amanda (A.J.) Hudson, Tamara Townsend; coaches Charles Walton, Terry Snider and Mike Long. Not pictured is Sally Burdette.

     The team had a perfect run again as they went undefeated in the series out scoring their opponents 24-9. They beat the Burris Team 5-0, then the Hernando team 3-2, Oxford 8-3, and again faced the very tough Hernando team in the championship game and won by a score of 8-4. The Batesville 16 and under team has won back-to-back Dizzy Dean World Series. Emily Snider, A.J. Hudson, and Lara Long were selected for the All-Tournament Team.


Johnson plans Batesville Pro Boxing event
Jamie Johnson, manager and brother of boxer John "Rusty" Johnson, announced an upcoming professional boxing event.

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A boxing event featuring John Johnson will be held at the Batesville Civic Center on Saturday, September 2.

"If you missed it before, don’t miss it now because the excitement is here," Jamie Johnson said. "Yes, John Johnson will be in Batesville with a big – and I mean big – professional boxing event, representing his state of Mississippi and hometown of Batesville (South Panola University – Go Tigers)."
Plans are still being finalized and Johnson will reveal them as soon as they become available.

Angels bass tournament set
Ashley’s Angels will host the 2006 Team Bass Tournament Saturday, August 12 on Sardis Lake at Engineers Point.

Each team can have up to two members. Registration fee is $150 per team.

Last year Ashley’s Angels helped 435 children.

To register or for more information, contact Martha and Glen Dye, 622 Sardis Lake Drive, Batesville, MS 38606 or (662) 563-4348.

Football practice begins
Even though the temperatures still hover around the 95 degree mark, the local football teams are taking to the gridiron for fall practice.

Fall practice officially started Monday afternoon for South Panola.

North Delta will do some skill position work tonight and start two-a-day practices Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the evening.

North Panola practiced Monday at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and will use that schedule today and tomorrow.

South Panola will play in a scrimmage with Provine and Brandon on Friday, August 18.

The Tiger season starts on the road to Clarksdale, Friday, August 25. The first home game is September 1 against Moss Point.

North Delta will play in a preseason jamboree at Desoto, Ark. on Friday, August 18.

The season starts at home against rival Magnolia Heights on Friday, August 25.

North Panola is not scheduled to play in a preseason scrimmage or jamboree.

The Cougars will play its first two games on the road. They will open the season on the road to Booneville Friday, August 25 and then in Coldwater, September 1.

The first home game for the Cougars will be against Rosa Fort on September 8.

SP cheerleaders reflect on competitive lifestyle
By Myra Bean
The South Panola cheerleading squad is still basking in its accomplishment as a nationally ranked cheerleading squad.

In February, the Tiger squad participated in the UCA National Competition and placed fifth in the nation.

Following that feat, tryouts were held for the upcoming squad. Named as captain is senior Allie Ware and as co-captains are Kristin Greeslin and Bianca Smith.

Each of the captains sat down for interviews recently and spoke of being a cheerleader on the South Panola squad.

Allie Ware
Ware said she has been cheering for a long time. When she was younger, she cheered at the Grove in Oxford and has always competed.

It has only been within the last seven years that South Panola has become a competitive squad. In that time they have enjoyed rankings of No. 10 and No. 9.

The main difference in the competition squad and the regular cheering squad to Ware is putting in more work and practice. Her job as captain is to lead the rest of the squad in exercises or giving encouraging advice.

She did not expect to be named captain, but had hoped the honor would be hers.

Ware said when she was younger she always wanted to be a cheerleader.

"It’s funny to think now I am where I was looking up," Ware said. "Then at football games, it is one of my favorites. You see all these boys in class and now they are out there beating all these folks up."

Her advice to girls who want to be cheerleaders in the future is to be confident.

"If you go out there and not be confident in what you are doing, it will show," she said. "Even if you aren’t, just act it."

Her parents are Don and Alecia Ware and her twin brother is Jon Michael Ware, captain of the North Delta football team.

Kristin Geeslin
Geeslin said she had wanted to be a cheerleader since she was a little girl. She likes the competitive part of cheerleading.

"Competition’s one of my favorite things because you have all of the adrenaline going," Geeslin said. "The practice is really hard and sometimes you get worn out from all the practicing."

She did not make the squad in her sixth grade year, but she tried again and made it in her seventh grade year. She did not expect to be named co-captain.

"I was really excited," she said. "I have always tried to be a leader."

The co-captain’s job, according to Geeslin, is like the captain’s in that they encourage everyone and make sure everybody’s doing what they are supposed to do.

Geeslin said when she heard the squad’s ranking at national she was real excited.

"It was really exciting that we had come that far since I started," she said.

South Panola started competitive cheerleading her first year.

"It was pretty hard to believe," she said. "Years before we had done well but never that well. We were sitting there waiting and they were calling 18 and down. Then we kept waiting to hear our name and then we finally heard it."

It takes a lot of hard work to be a South Panola cheerleader, Geeslin said.

"You really have to love it to stay in it," she said. "It’s real exciting and the coaches really care about you. That’s one thing I really love about being a South Panola cheerleader. I know that my coaches care about what they are doing. The way we have excelled over the year is really exciting, too."

Geeslin is the daughter of Melissa and Jeff McDaniel of Batesville and Brian Geeslin of Coldwater. She has two younger brothers, 12 and 13 years old. Her grandparents are Bill and Glenda Meredith of Senatobia.

Bianca Smith
Smith said for anyone planning to be a South Panola cheerleader plan for some hard work.
She does not mind the hard work and that work ethic earned her a position as co-captain, which she never thought she would be.

"When I started out I couldn’t do a cartwheel," she admitted. "My cartwheels looked horrible. I couldn’t cheer. I couldn’t do anything. It never crossed my mind. I wanted it but I never thought I’d get it."

In competitive cheerleading, the members have to be a lot more dedicated, Smith said.

"If you are not dedicated, you are not going to do it," she said. "You are not going to give it all you’ve got. It is a lot harder, a lot more stress, a lot more get up and go to do it, a lot more than standing on the sidelines cheering for your team – which I love – but I would rather compete."

Smith said she had wanted to be a cheerleader "forever" since she started in kiddie camp when she was five years old.

As a co-captain, Smith said she has to stay encouraged even when some things do not come together as the squad hopes.

"You get so frustrated," she said. "You can’t let it show for all the other girls, but you are just like uhhhh. It’s hard to keep everybody’s spirits up when yours might be down, but you still have to do it, still have to push. Keep thinking I’m a leader and I have to do this for my girls."

Smith described her feelings when it was announced they were the No. 5 squad in the nation.

"It was one of the greatest feelings in the world to know you came from a squad for the first time ever making the finals," she said. "It was overwhelming and it was the best feeling. You just can’t explain it. It felt so good. Tears, they were happy tears. It was just great.

"Thousands of hours of practices, blood, sweat and tears, like Miss Tammy (Wilkinson) said, it all came together and it was just worth it," Smith continued. "Everything we do here is worth it. We get tired of it and we want to give up so much, but once you get there and you feel the way it feels at nationals, it’s all worth it, every second."

Wilkinson is "a great coach," according to Smith.

"She is one of the best coaches there is," Smith added. "She is very dedicated and she loves us so much. You can just tell. Everything she does is about us.

"For us to know that she loves us and she loves our sport, it helps a lot," she continued. "If she didn’t care, we might not care. She cares so much. She uplifts our spirits and keeps us happy."

Smith is the daughter of Dawn and Davey Smith. She has one brother Austin, 12, and her grandmother is Jean Smith of Batesville.


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