Sports / Outdoors – 9/1/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 1, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – September 1, 2006

  From the 9/1/06 issue of The Panolian       

SP prepares for big game
     Last week against Clarksdale, South Panola’s Rickyus "Bud" Barksdale took this punt return 94 yards for a touchdown after getting a solid block from teammate Darius "Tigg" Barksdale (right back).
By Myra Bean

Preparations have been going on all week for the upcoming football match between the South Panola Tigers and the Moss Point Tigers tonight.

A year ago, Hurricane Katrina ripped through Mississippi and postponed the game for a couple of weeks. Then on a Tuesday night, South Panola made the trek to the ravaged Gulf Coast and came away with a 20-7 win.

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Not only does that defeat lay with the Moss Point Tigers, but also last week’s 14-3 loss to then unranked Picayune. With the win, Picayune moved to No. 10 in the Clarion-Ledger Super 10 poll.

Moss Point defeated Picayune last year 16-6. Moss Point also defeated Picyune big time in the spring. There was no real explanation of what turned things around for Picayune, but South Panola head coach Ricky Woods expects the "Moss Point of old" to show up tonight.

"This will be one of the best defenses we will meet this year," Woods said.

Offensive line coach Michael Fair said Moss Point will bring in two of the best defensive ends in the state. Also, the Tigers from the south return about eight or nine starters from last year’s defense.

"They have a good team," Fair said.

South Panola, still nationally ranked at different spots by different polls, remains No. 1 in the state followed by Wayne County and Clarksdale, who dropped to No. 3 after the 19-13 South Panola win last week. The Tigers look to improve on their 46-game win streak.

The lights were checked Monday and the old Tiger Stadium signed removed and replaced with the newly renamed Robert H. Dunlap Stadium sign. The name change took place in May.

The field was striped Thursday morning in preparation for a four-week home game stand the Tigers will play.

Moss Point is coached by Jerry Alexander, who is in his 16th year as head coach. The Moss Point Tigers finished 6-5 last year in the first round of playoffs with a 14-10 loss to Meridian. The season was interrupted by the hurricane.

Tickets for tonight’s game will go on sale at 6 p.m. at the ticket booth. General admission is $5 and reserved seating is $7.

Chiefs hand ND huge 47-14 loss
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Wave football team started their 2006 season off with a huge loss when the longtime rival 3A Magnolia Heights Chiefs came to town and handed them a 47-14 loss in a non-conference game on Friday, before a standing room only crowd at Green Wave field.

The Green Wave moved down to 1A this year and this game might not have counted as far as playoffs, but to some this game is just as important. This is one of their biggest games of the year between both schools and the rivalry goes back for generations.

One team always comes out of this game with the win and with a year of bragging rights and a year to remind them that next year will come again.

The team which lost always looks forward to winning the next year.

To guarantee a win, the teams had to make a minimum amount of mistakes, which the Chiefs did on Friday night.

Coming into this game for the Green Wave were 11 seniors who knew they would see action on both sides of the ball. They came into this game also with a new face at head coach, Richard Russo.

Russo came into the Green Wave football players’ lives and made many changes. The players adjusted quickly and responded well. Other changes that the fans saw on Friday night were the new uniforms that the Green Wave players showed off on the field. They were all green with shining green helmets that were hard to miss.

The captains for the Green Wave were seniors Evan West, Jon Michael Ware and Arthur Kemp. Captains for the Chiefs were seniors Hunter Ferguson and Addison Lawrence.

The Chiefs won the toss to begin the game. They elected to receive the ball so the Green Wave kicked off from the north endzone to the south endzone. The wind was no factor on this hot night.
Back deep to receive the ball for the Chiefs was Ferguson. Evan West kicked off for the Green Wave to about the 30 yard line. Devon Birmingham returned the ball to the 44 yard line. Green Wave defensive tackle Austin Atkinson made the first tackle of the game.

On the first play of the opening possession, the Chiefs’ quarterback Cameron Lawrence set the tone for the game, when he scored on a keeper from 57 yards out, untouched, for the first touchdown of the evening. Only a few seconds had ticked off of the clock. The PAT was no good to the left and the Chiefs took an early 6-0 lead.

Kicking for the Chiefs was Addison Lawrence and back deep to receive were Evan West and Nick Douglas for the Green Wave. West took the ball on the right side, breaking several tackles and going up to the 39 yard line for the Green Wave’s first possession of the 2006 season.

J.T. Dalrymple, 5’11", 150 pounds, made his debut as the Green Wave’s starting quarterback. Senior running back Dakota Mabry had the first carry of the game for the Green Wave and picked up six yards. The possession ended in a punt with 9:30 on the clock.

The Chiefs took over on their own 20 yard line. Brothers Addison and Cameron Lawrence, senior tight end and sophomore quarterback, respectively, was one of the advantages the Chiefs had going for them.

With 6:35 on the clock, Kyle Collinson caught a 50-yard pass from Cameron Lawrence to pick up a first and goal at the Green Wave five yard line. This pass help set up a touchdown on the very next play when Hunter Ferguson took the ball into the endzone from five yards out. The two point conversion was good by Addison Lawrence from his brother Cameron to give the Chiefs a 14-0 lead over the Green Wave.

With 5:45 left in the first quarter, Nick Douglas took the ball on the 20 yards line to start second possession of the game for the Green Wave team. A few plays later, the Green Wave fumbled the ball and the Chiefs recovered it on the 15-yard line of Green Wave territory. The very next play, Cameron Lawrence took the ball on a keeper into the endzone for a touchdown, but the first flag of the night flag was thrown on the Chiefs. On the next play, the Green Wave were flagged which helped the Chiefs get back down to the five yard line.

With 4:12 on the clock, Cameron Lawrence kept the ball for five yards and took it into the endzone for a touchdown. The PAT was good by Daniel Sanford to give the Chiefs a 21-0 lead over the Green Wave at the end of the first quarter.

The Chiefs came back in the second quarter with some new faces on the field with the second string players. With 10:34 on the clock in the second quarter, Hunter Ferguson ran a 20-yard touchdown. The Chiefs led 27-0 after the PAT failed.

Cameron Lawrence scored on a 24-yard run. With the PAT by Daniel Sanford the Chiefs led 34-0.

With 4:12 on the clock, the Green Wave finally got on the scoreboard when Nick Douglas took the ball 36 yards into the endzone to cut the lead 34-6 after the PAT failed.

The Chiefs attempted an onside kick but it was recovered by Evan West. The Green Wave started on the 46 yard line but the possession ended in a punt with 1:53 left in the first half.

The Chiefs scored once more before halftime on a 15-yard run by Devon Birmingham with 20 seconds left in the half.

With the failed extra point kick, the Chiefs led 40-6 at halftime.

To start the second half of the game, the Chiefs put in their second string to play. The Green Wave received the ball to start the third quarter.

The only scoring in the third quarter came was a fumble recovery in the endzone by Dakota Mabry with 2:45 on the clock. The two point conversion was good by Evan West cut the Chiefs lead 40-6.

The last score of the night came on a Chief Tauran Harper 17-yard run. With the PAT Sanford, the Chiefs had a final score of 47-14.

"Coaching a new team felt really generating," Russo said. "I really welcomed the new challenge of learning each and every new player with their personalities. I also welcomed the challenge of being the head coach."

Russo admitted it was very disappointing to lose the game.

"I consider myself a winner and I consider the players that I coach winners," he said. "It just goes back to the inexperience. "

The matchup with Magnolia Heights was the first game many players had played, according to Russo. Russo reassured the players will get better as they see more live action.

Russo said as far as the players responding to him on Friday night, he thought that when he asked them to do something, they went out and tried to execute the best that they knew how.

"It is just the little things here and there that we are off," said Russo. Russo gave an example of a cornerback who was supposed to shove with his outside shoulder pad and he was trying with the inside shoulder.

"That was giving the running back a running lane for the outside," Russo explained.

"As far as what happened on Friday night, when we started off the very first possession, we gave them good field position on a short kick off," said Russo. "Then the very first play, our cornerbacks used an improper technique. It caused a giant running lane and it gave the Chiefs about a 60 yard touchdown run."

Russo spoke about how well the players ran the ball, but still could not get the first downs.

"Also, we lost the battle in turnovers," he said. "We gave them four and we only got one. You can’t beat anybody with four turnovers."

Russo said that the punting team was the highlight of the night.

J.T. Dalrymple ended up with over a 41 yard punting average, according to Russo.

Then on defense, the very next series, the Green Waves held the Chiefs to a third and long.

"We were doing proper techniques, but the guy who was suppose to cover the tightend just slipped down," Russo said. "Then, from that point, I believe that our boys started hanging their heads a little bit, which disappoints me because I want them to play every play and every quarter regardless of what the scoreboard says. I was most disappointed in the area of defensive techniques."

Russo spoke about the play of the two quarterbacks.

"Jim Tyler has a lot of speed," said Russo. "He also has a very accurate arm. He can throw the deep ball. Bateman Greenlee is our backup quarterback and he is just like Jim Tyler, he is still trying to learn offense. He is not as fast."

Russo described Magnolia Heights as a very well-coached team and very physical team.

"But did I think that they were a 47-14 team? No way," he said. "I would love to turn back the clock and play them again, but in football you only get one shot and you don’t get another one then."

When the team was dow 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, Russo told his team he would not stop coaching until the end of the fourth quarter and they had better not stop playing.

He also did not believe the team played their best ball all four quarters. He said there is a lot of room for improvement as far as finishing up each play, quarter and game.

"I also gave them words of encouragement," said Russo. "I told them that the season wasn’t won or loss on that one game. We have a lot more goals that we can accomplish."

The Green Wave ended the game with 229 yards in rushing and five passing yards for a total offense of 234. They had four turnovers. Rushing for the Green Wave were West, 63 yards on four carries; Douglas, 52 yards on four carries; Devin Maples, 39 yards on seven carries; Dalrymple 29 yards on 10 carries; and Mabry 29 yards on eight carries. West also had a two-point conversion and Douglas had one reception for 10 yards and one touchdown for a total offense of 62 yards. Dalrymple was two of seven for five passing yards and he had a 41.5 punting average on two punts.

For the Green Wave defense, Evan West had six tackles and Dakota Mabry had four tackles, a defensive touchdown and a fumble recovery.

Magnolia Heights had 457 total offense yards and only one turnover.

The Green Wave will be on the road Friday for a non-district match up with the Marshall Academy Patriots. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

Coldwater makes itself new rival for NP
By Myra Bean

The North Panola Cougars will be on the road for the second straight week to face a team which could be considered a new rival.

The Coldwater Cougars will host North Panola in non-conference action. Coldwater lost to Independence 21-14 last week. That is no secret about Coldwater.

Coldwater ended 2005 with a 1-8 record. They won the last game of the season against Hatley 13-12.

In most of their games last year, Coldwater was within striking distance of a win but could not pull it out.

They lost to North Panola 10-7 in 2005.

North Panola head coach Vincent Johnson said Coldwater likes to run.

"They have a good quarterback and wide receiver," Johnson said. "They will play hard. This is a big game. They will try to win."

North Panola dropped its season opener to Booneville 26-12 on the road.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Coldwater tonight.

Directions: Take 51 North out of Senatobia. As 51 begins to divide before town, turn right onto Payton Road (next to Ann’s Beauty Shop) and go East. Stop at the railroad tracks. School is on a hill. Take second entrance to the elementary school and go past principal’s house and cafeteria. Football field is in the gulley.

Former ND district foe still big competitor
By Angie Ledbetter

A heated rivalry will renew tonight when the North Delta Green Waves (0-1 overall, 0-0 district) travel to Holly Springs to take on the Marshall Academy Patriots (1-0 overall, 0-0 district).

Tonight will be different for the Green Wave team for two reasons. First, North Delta is now 1A for the next two years and will not face the Patriots in any playoff games this year. Two, the Green Waves will showcase a new face to the Patriots with new head coach Richard Russo, who has never been to Patriot territory.

The games between these two teams have always been very physical and hard fought to the very end. For several years, the 2A District 1 winner would come from a game between the Green Waves and the Patriots. In a couple of games in the past, the 2A North Half State winner came from a game between these two teams.

The Green Waves hold the record as far as wins against the Patriots. North Delta holds back-to-back wins over Marshall, 47-7 in 2004 and 32-14 in 2005.

The Patriots will be looking for a win as they bring in 24 players under head coach Wade Griffin.

Russo notes the Patriots have some new assistant coaches this year who are taking a more hard-nose approach to the offensive philosophy there.

"They are very much focusing on the power running game," Russo said. "They obliviously have been to some clinics. They’ve learned how to run the inside and outside zone plays, which are typically college plays. They are well disciplined on offense."

All of this was seen on film and Russo said it was hard for him to gauge the defense.

Marshall played Tunica last week, who use a shotgun with four wide receivers every down, which is pretty much the total opposite from the Green Wave, according to Russo.

The Patriots will be lead by junior quarterback Brent Adams, 6’1", 185 pounds.

Last week Adams had a 50-yard run and completed a 66-yard pass in the 40-7 win against Tunica.

Russo described Adams as a very accurate passer.

"That 66-yard pass came from a play action touchdown where they faked the run and they threw the post across the middle and he looked to be very accurate on that play," he said. "As far as the run goes, he also faked a run to the tailback and he just kept the ball around the end and it looked like he had some speed on him. We can’t let him get outside like that."

The running back will be junior Tyler Sanders, 5’10", 205 pounds and wide receiver is Wesley Harris.

Russo said Harris typically lines up on the offensive left which is the Green Wave’s defensive right. He said that he is going to have to put his best defensive back on him because he does have some speed.

The Patriots are putting a relatively young team on the field with six seniors, eight juniors, and 10 sophomores.

Russo said Marshall’s main advantage over the Green Waves is experience and that will hold true until they get into the heart of the season.

"Most of our players, minus Jon Michael Ware, Evan West, Nick Douglas, and Dakota Mabry, have never started in high school or even played football in high school," Russo said. "I’m sure, even though they have juniors, that they have played at least a year of high school football."

Russo said to prepare his team for the Patriots, he will have to tell his team to focus on the Patriots.

"We absolutely can not let Magnolia beat us again," Russo said. "What I mean by that is if we dwell on that loss, it’s like a snake. It can strike up and bite us again this week. We have to put it in the past and move on and focus 100 percent on Marshall."

The pep rally for the football players will be today at 2:30 in the school gym.

The pregame show with head coach Richard Russo is at 7:00 p.m. on FM 106.9 with Mickey Aldridge. Kickoff for the game is at 7:30 p.m.

Directions to Marshall Academy: From Oxford, follow highway 7 N to Holly Springs. Continue on 7 N (Craft Street) to the stoplight at Chulahoma Avenue. Turn left. Go to the four way stop. Sign points left to Marshall Academy. Turn left. The road will fork, bear to the right and take the first right and then an immediate left onto Cedar Dr, which dead ends into Marshall Academy.

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.

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