Sports / Outdoors – 8/25/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 25, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – August 25, 2006

  From the 8/25/06 issue of The Panolian       

Final registration for the City of Batesville Soccer league will be held August 29 and 5 p.m. at Trussell Park.
     The league is open for boys and girls ages 5 and older. Cost is $10 per child.
     This will be the last chance to register. Anyone who would like to coach a team should come to this registration.
John Johnson Boxing Sat., Sept. 3
A Professional Boxing Event featuring John "Rusty’ Johnson will be held at the Batesville Civic Center on. Six undercard fights are scheduled. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the fights start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission; $15 floor seats; and $25 ringside. Tickets may be purchased at the Batesville Civic Center.
The 19th Annual Sardis Lakeshore Cleanup Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 in conjunction with Public Lands Day.  To participate in the cleanup effort, all volunteers should arrive at Engineers Point at 7 a.m. to receive instructions from one of the Park Rangers.  
T-shirts will be given to all registered participants while they last and at noon a free hotdog lunch will be served.  Make sure you wear clothes and shoes that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty and please bring a pair of gloves.  For more information on this event, please contact Park Ranger George Harris at the Sardis Lake Field Office at (662) 563-4531.
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.
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.
Available now at The Panolian.
Read these articles, rosters, see photos of the teams and individual players in their entirety in your own Playbook 2006.
Green Waves brim with excitement
By Myra Bean

Things are looking different around North Delta and the excitement level is high as the Green Waves prepare for the season under first year head coach Richard Russo.

"I felt like and I told them when I interviewed, when a new coach comes in he has got to have a brand new face and bring new energy to the program," Russo said.

The goal posts have been repainted, along with the field house by the parents.

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The team has new home uniforms. All of the helmets are painted "North Delta green." Tucker manufacturing created the color, Russo said. The helmets have a black face mask. The white facemasks were changed to match the uniforms.

"I really wanted to go back to the grassroots of the school, green and white," Russo said. "They had been incorporating some black in."

In the locker room, there is a single row of lockers and each locker brand with the ND logo – "like the Ole Miss lockers," Russo said. Name plates were also put on the lockers and new hip pads, knee pads, and thigh pads were purchased for practice.

All of this new look and attitude has added to the excitement surrounding this year’s team. Russo said the players buying into the program "completely, 100 percent" has caused the excitement.

"It’s kind of scary," Russo said. "We have not had what I call a bad practice yet.

"We have had almost three weeks of great practices," he continued. "That is really because the boys care. They are trying hard. They are encouraging each other. When one guy is not doing the job, they won’t get on him. They just encourage him with ?You have to do it for the team.’ That has spread to the community."

The Season
North Delta opens the season tonight with what could be the biggest game of the season with long time rival Magnolia Heights.

Magnolia won last year’s showdown 31-6. North Delta ended the 2005 season with an 8-3 record, losing also to Indianola Academy and Lee-Clarksdale.

Tigers led by national recruits; tough season ahead
By Myra Bean

Though EA Sports and Panola County’s National Coach of the year Ricky Woods head coaches the No. 4 National Tony Poll, No. 8 Sports Illustrated and the No. 23 USA Today nationally ranked South Panola Tigers, Woods does not take the upcoming season as a given.

"You can get beat any Friday night that you play," Woods said in a preseason interview.

So what makes this highly successful high school coach nervous?

"Clarksdale and Moss Point make me nervous right now," Woods said.

South Panola tops the state as the No. 1 team, according to the Clarion-Ledger preseason poll. Tonight they travel to Clarksdale to take on the No. 2 team in the state to open the season.

The Tigers, with 74 on the roster, enter the season with a 45-game win streak and three straight 5A state championships.

In a preseason interview, Woods said the coaching staff was just working on things to get the team better and not focusing on a specific team.

"In the first two or three weeks of practice and the spring, you focus on what you need to do to get better, fundamentals, depth, getting young players better, and older players in positions where they will help you the best," Woods said.

The South Panola offense has built a reputation for itself as a "high octane" offense with its backs and receivers accounting for 6,323 yards last year and 549 points.

Woods gave an overview of the offense which will take the field this week.

He spoke of the depth on the offensive line. Assistant coach Michael fair is working with about 10 players on the line.

"He’s (Fair) got a bunch of guys fighting for some spots," Woods said. "Some of the young lads look promising."

Some offensive linemen include seniors Hunter Bailey, center Quinn Sanford and Vandell Pollard and juniors Cordarrius McMurry, Cameron Wagner, Jonathan Wilson, Jermarcus Hardrick and David Baker.

Bailey was listed as one of the top 125 seniors in Mississippi by The Clarion-Ledger. Wagner was listed as one of the juniors to watch this season.

The offensive backfield will be led by national recruits quarterback Leroy Diggs and running back Jeramie Griffin.

No negative speaking allowed at North Panola
By Myra Bean

"These kids are used to losing, used to giving up," said Vincent Johnson, North Panola first year head coach. "They are used to quitting, doing nothing, walking around, sagging their shorts, talking every sort of way, being disrespectful.

"But they ain’t going to be used to it going in another direction," Johnson declared.

Johnson backed up his promise by having the team’s motto, "Heading in a New Direction," printed on the team practice t-shirts.

"I want them to see this," Johnson said. "It’s going to be tough. That’s why I want them to see it on those shirts. When they get tired at practice, it might not help but one person the whole year but that one got help."

Johnson is the Cougars’ fifth coach in eight years. The Cougars made the playoffs in 2003 and 2004 but missed out in 2005. They ended 2005 with a 3-6 record.

Johnson is the kind of coach who allows "no negativity" to be spoken around him.

"I don’t know if it is the staff or what we bring or what we talk about," he said. "I don’t allow negativity. We are all positive."

Johnson declares the time is right for the team and the school to look to a new direction, a new way of thinking, acting and preparing for the future.

He is looking to build character in his players and prepare them for a future to be productive citizens.

"I don’t know where they’ve been," he said. "I don’t know where they would have gone if I wasn’t here. Since I am here, we are going to go in another direction."

Johnson declared they will not go the same way they were going.

"I don’t know if that will equate to wins and losses, but I do know our kids will have character, they will be more disciplined, set goals and have values about themselves," he said. "We are trying to grow the future. I am just doing my part."

The Team
North Panola looks to dress out 46 players this year. When Johnson held a meeting to meet interested players this summer, 17 people showed up.


 No. 1 and No. 2 to heat up the gridiron
By Myra Bean

The most anticipated game on opening night of 2006 could very well happen in Clarksdale.

The No. 1 state ranked South Panola Tigers and the No. 2 ranked Clarksdale Wildcats will meet on the gridiron at Crumpton Field.

Bragging rights are on the line as these two Mississippi powerhouse teams prepare for a battle of Tigers and Wildcats.

"I think they are making this bigger than it will be," said assistant coach Trenell Edwards. Edwards coaches the wide receivers and defensive backs for the Tigers.

"We are going to be able to catch the ball some," Edwards said.

He was a little skeptical about pass coverage though.

For the past few years, both teams have opened the seasons against each other in an effort to see who draws blood first.

Though the temperatures are expected to be in the lower 90s and upper 80s at kickoff time, this will not stop the two teams from going at each other like they are cold and trying to warm up.

The humidity is expected to be at 78 percent before the game ends and there is a 30 percent chance of rain. The temperature is expected to drop to around 82 degrees by the end of the game.

South Panola has won the last four contests in route to a 59-1 record going into this season. Last year the Tigers walked away with a 27-7 win. South Panola enters the season with a 45-game win streak on the line.

Clarksdale is reeling from the loss of one its "strongest" players in Jamal McGregory, who broke the two largest bones in his left leg in practice Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season, according to published reports. McGregory was a two-way tackle.

As for the Tiger offensive line, offensive line coach Michael Fair said they will be "pretty good."

"We have as large as line as any high school I have ever heard," Fair said. "Everybody is in a new position this year in order to get the best ones on the line."

The OL is averaging 301 pounds, according to Fair, at 308, 310, 280, 280 and 325 pounds for the starting five.

"That’s about the size the Mississippi State line was when I played there," Fair said.

Head coach Ricky Woods says this game will be a "measuring stick" for the team.

"A lot of them are untested and we have to figure out how they will respond," Woods said. "We have to sort of wait and see. We have these guys who haven’t played. Those in a starting role are going to get tested Friday and we have to see how they respond. You don’t know in practice."

Even though some say this game may be a given, Woods disagrees.

"Clarksdale has a great team," he said. "They have juniors who, I figure, two of them will be Dandy Dozens next year, both running backs. They have some great players, not just good players."

Still, Woods reports the three and have weeks of practice have been good.

"They have done everything we have asked them to do," Woods said.

Even though it has been hot, he said the players are in good shape.

He expects a good crowd to be on hand to watch and support the Tigers.

South Panola has been granted some national attention this week. The announcement was released Wednesday that the Tigers will be featured in the August 28 edition of Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated ranked the Tigers No. 8 in its top 20 high school poll this week.

Also Prepsportsonline is featuring South Panola High School throughout the year on a web site devoted to SPHS. They will have a camera man at each football game. The dedicated website is .

Kickoff time on Crumpton Field is 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WBLE 100.5 FM.

2006 Super 25 football rankings

1. Hoover, Ala. (14-1)
2. Byrnes, Duncan, S.C. (15-0)
3. Lakeland, Fla. (15-0)
4. Lufkin, Texas (14-1)
5. Glades Central, Belle Glade, Fla. (12-1)
6. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (11-2)
7. Southlake (Texas) Carroll (16-0)
8. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (12-1)
9. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh (10-2)
10. Warren Central, Indianapolis (14-1)
11. Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (14-0)
12. Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif. (13-0)
13. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (15-0)
14. Hamilton, Chandler, Ariz. (13-1)
15. John Curtis, River Ridge, La. (10-1)
16. Garland, Texas (10-3)
17. Canyon, Canyon Country, Calif. (13-1)
18. Independence, Charlotte (15-0)
19. St. Bonaventure, Ventura, Calif. (14-0)
20. St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City (12-0)
21. Summerville, S.C. (12-3)
22. Camden County, Kingsland, Ga. (12-1)
23. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (15-0)
24. Jenks, Okla. (9-2)
25. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (11-1)
NP Cougars to travel to Blue Devil territory
By Myra Bean

The North Panola Cougars will also kick off their 2006 season tonight on the road to Booneville High School.

The Cougars will be taking a new offensive scheme into the season, along with a new head coach in Vincent Johnson.

In last year’s battle, the Cougars even led the Blue Devils at one point, but lost the game by five points, 30-25.

These two non-conference teams have always bought out the best in each other when meeting for the opening game of the season.

Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Green Waves and Chiefs set for opening day showdown
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Waves will start their 2006 football season tonight hosting their biggest rival of the year, the 3A Magnolia Heights Chiefs, in a huge non-conference game.

The Green Waves moved from 2A to 1A this year, so this will be a bigger challenge for them. The game between these two schools go back several years and it holds the record for attendance.

These two schools are close in miles and there are many friends between the two schools that also go back in years, including coaches. This game will give the winner bragging rights for a year until the next game is played between them.

In 2004, the Green Waves defeated the Chiefs
35-21 and in 2005, the Chiefs defeated the Green Wave 31-6. A little bit of revenge plays a factor for both teams who so want the big win for themselves.

Standing room only is expected as always when these two teams meet on the gridiron.

Head Green Wave Coach Richard Russo said, "I think that it’s a good test for us. Right out of the gate, we will see how we are going to be and how we will respond. If we let that No.3 in front of that "A" bother us, then we weren’t as mentally tough as I thought that we were."

The Green Waves will start their season with 28 players on their roster. Eleven seniors will lead the team followed by seven juniors and 10 sophomores.

They will be under the leadership of No. 6 junior quarterback J.T. Dalrymple who is 5’11", weighing in at 150. Some other players who will be helping lead the team will be seniors Nick Douglas, Evan West, Jim Beard, Dakota Mabry, Jon Michael Ware, Josh Ratliff and juniors Josh Garrott and Devin Maples.

Assisting Head Coach Russo will be David Hardy, Brad Wilson, Lance Thomas, and Adam Waldrup. Hardy and Wilson were both on the coaching staff last year. Lance Thomas was an assistant coach at North Delta before and took a head coaching job at another MPSA school in 2005. Waldrup graduated from North Delta in 2002 and is a volunteer coach this year.

The Chiefs have 24 players on their roster. Twelve are seniors, six juniors, and six sophomores. They will be under the leadership of sophomore quarterback Cameron Lawrence. Some other players to watch will be tightend Addison Lawrence, Hunter Ferguson, Tauran Harper, Kyle Collinson, Jonathon Red, Johnathan Faught, Kyle Glidewell and T.J. Wiggins.

Head Coach for the Chiefs is Cliff Young. Assisting him will be Tim Beard, Bobby Bouchillon, Russ Whiteside and Jim Patterson.

In the jamboree game that the Chiefs played in last week, they lost to Pillow Academy 21-0 and lost to Washington 16-0.

Head Coach Russo said that the Chiefs are running a completely new offense than they did last year.

"They spread you out with four wide receivers, sometimes three, so they try to spread you thin there," said Russo "They want to spread you out to run the ball not necessary to throw the ball. The quarterback looks to be fast and has a good arm. If you give him time, he can hit his target."

Tight end Addison Lawrence has verbally committed to Mississippi State University with a full paid scholarship offer. He is 6’4" and weighs 255 pounds.

"They are a well-coached and a well disciplined team so we are going to have to play at a high level," Russo said. "I feel that the team will be ready for the Chiefs by Friday. To win this game, we are going to have to be very physical and execute well."

A pep rally for the Green Wave will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the school gym. Pregame with Head Coach Russo will be at 7 p.m. on FM 106.9 and kickoff is at 7:30 with Kirk Willingham and Mickey Aldridge with play-by play action.

Tune into the Mississippi High School Football Scoreboard Show starting at 10 p.m. for Green Wave highlights.


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