Sports / Outdoors – 9/29/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2006

The Panolian: SPORTS – September 29, 2006

  From the 9/29/06 issue of The Panolian       

Excitement heats up for Tigers/Quistors matchup
By Myra Bean

It has been almost a year since the last time South Panola and Olive Branch tangled for dominance on the football field.

Olive Branch had six to nine players vying for division 1 spots and South Panola had one.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It made no difference as South Panola held Olive Branch to three points in two games. The second game was a 26-0 shutout as the Tigers earned its fourth straight berth into the 5A state championship.

Over 15,000 showed up in Batesville to watch these two teams battle for coveted title of football king in north Mississippi.

In the south part of the state, a new prince emerges each year, but in the north, South Panola sits dominantly on the throne with a 50-game win streak under its belt.

Could there be a coup in the making this year? Both teams enter tonight’s game 5-0 overall, 1-0 in district.

The Tigers play each game as if every opponent is a viable threat, according to head coach Ricky Woods.

South Panola offensive lineman Cameron Wagner said Woods has been working the team hard this week.

"He’d (Woods) say we will run 10 plays," Wagner said. "Then we would run a couple of more."

Senior defensive lineman Marlon Wilks said they will not allow Olive Branch to score any points tonight.

The Tigers practiced for only a couple of hours on the field Wednesday afternoon then dismissed. Many players were at the North Panola coronation that night.

Woods said Thursday morning the three practices this week were the best they had all season.

"We have had a great week of practice," Woods said. "The kids, it’s been a special week for them. They know we have a great team they are going to have to play."

Woods also said the upcoming game with Olive Branch is the type of game coaches like to coach.

"Coaches are excited," Woods said. "The school’s excited. It’s nice to go in and play somebody that you know you really are going to have to gameplan and try to beat."

Olive Branch went through a coaching change. Jamie Mitchell left to take a job with a junior college. Scott Samsel left his post as assistant principal at Southaven to take over the Quistor team.

Samsel spent the spring of 2005 as wide receivers coach at South Panola. Before then, Samsel coached at Lafayette County for six years.

Woods said he does not expect Samsel to do anything different.

"He just runs what he always runs," Woods said. "Scott is a good friend of mine. I wish him well in all but this game. He understands that. You always want to beat your friends more than you want to beat your enemies.

"He knows what it is all about and I do too," Woods added. "It’s all about trying to win this game."

The Quistor offense has been called "prolific" in some reports. Olive Branch has already scored 301 points over opponents this season and only allowed 18.

South Panola has scored 166 points and allowed 40. The only shutout of the season for the Tigers was against Carver, September 15.

All 18 points scored against Olive Branch came during the first game of the season. They have not allowed a point in four games. Last week they shutout Southaven 49-0.

Woods spoke about the confidence level of the Tigers.

"They know they have to play," he said. "They are not overconfident. Our kids are very confident. They have confidence in each other. I have confidence in them.

"In order to be good in anything, you have to have confidence in yourself, your peers, who you play with," Woods added. "So I would say it’s pretty high."

A big crowd is expected to overflow the field and stadium at Olive Branch tonight to see these top teams in Mississippi in action.

Woods said the team is as excited as the community about this game.

"The last couple of games we were just so much better than them," he said. "These guys here are some of our equal foe."

Woods said Olive Branch is better as a team than they were last year. They lost some players, but the majority of their team is back, according to Woods.

Olive Branch’s quarterback, Kenneth Smith moved in from Memphis.

"That really helps them," Woods said. "I think he is a better quarterback than the one they had last year."

Olive Branch’s running back Ryan Geeslin is a "premier running back," according to Woods.

"Everybody in the world wants their running back," Woods said. "He’s a great player."

Olive Branch also returns all its linemen on both sides of the ball from last year.

"We expect them to be really good," he said. "They are everything we expect them to be. Coach (Jamie) Mitchell told me when he left Olive Branch they had two more years that they were going to be really, really good. Then the split was going to hurt them. He left them some good players up there."

South Panola moved up three spots in the USA Today Poll to No. 17.

What helped South Panola’s placement was that four of the top 25 teams in that poll lost last week.

The Tigers remain No. 4 in the National Tony Poll, No. 13 in the National Prep Poll, No. 8 in the Sports Illustrated High School Power Rankings and No. 1 in the Clarion Ledger Super 10 Poll.

USA Today has chosen tonight’s game as its game of the week during an audio webcast, featuring the broadcast of WBLE. See the bottom of C1 for separate news release.

With a win tonight, South Panola would tie the longest win streak of 51 in the state of Mississippi which Hamilton built from 1979 to 1983 and has held all these years.

Picayune Carver held the coveted title it set from 1958-1962 of 50 games until Hamilton broke its record.

The ticket booth at Olive Branch will open at 5 p.m. with general admission tickets $5. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Super 25 football rankings
Analysis by Christopher Lawlor

Shake-up: The Super 25 football rankings received a jolt with four teams losing, three dropping out and 14 changing rank. The biggest winner was No. 8 Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.), which beat then-No. 15 St. Bonaventure (Ventura) 59-13. Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) slipped 17 spots to No. 24 after losing to Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh) 17-14. Joining the rankings are No. 22 Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), No. 23 Mount Carmel (Chicago) and No. 25 West Monroe (La.).

1. Hoover, Ala. (4-0)
2. Byrnes, Duncan, S.C. (5-0)
3. Lakeland, Fla. (5-0)
4. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (3-0)
5. Lufkin, Texas (4-0)
6. Southlake (Texas) Carroll (3-0)
7. Warren Central, Indianapolis (6-0)
8. Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif. (3-0)
9. St. Xavier, Cincinnati (4-1)
10. Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (5-0)
11. John Curtis, River Ridge, La. (3-0)
12. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (4-1)
13. Independence, Charlotte (5-0)
14. Northwestern, Miami (4-0)
15. St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City (2-0)
16. Summerville, S.C. (5-0)
17. South Panola, Batesville, Miss. (5-0)
Previous: 20. Result: d. Horn Lake 40-7.
Next: Friday at Olive Branch.
18. DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (4-0)
19. Colerain, Cincinnati (5-0)
20. Smithson Valley, Spring Branch, Texas (4-0)
21. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (3-0)
22. Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. (3-0)
23. Mount Carmel, Chicago (5-0)
24. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh (3-1)
25. West Monroe, La. (4-0)
Sports Illustrated
High School Power Rankings

1. Hoover (Ala.) (5-0)
2. Lakeland (Fla.) (5-0)
3. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) (3-0)
4. Warren Central (Indianapolis) (6-0)
5. Southlake Carroll (Texas) (3-0)
6. Independence (Charlotte, N.C.) (5-0)
7. Lufkin (Texas) (4-0)
8. South Panola (Batesville) (5-0)
9. St. Xavier (Cincinnati) (4-1)
10. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) (3-0)
11. Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) (5-0)
12. John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) (3-0)
13. St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) (4-1)
14. St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) (2-0)
15. St. Augustine (Fla.) (5-0)
16. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) (3-0)
17. Miami Northwestern (Miami) (4-0)
18. Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort, Ill.) (5-0)
19. Mount Carmel (Chicago) (5-0)
20. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) (4-0)
21. Colerain (Cincinnati, Ohio) (5-0)
22. North Shore (Houston, Texas) (3-0)
23. Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Fla.) (3-1)
24. Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich) (5-0)
25. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (3-0)
Take a chance in the Football Contest
By Myra Bean

I hope everybody has recouped from last week’s Football Contest. Believe me, nobody did that great.

I almost apologized because it was so difficult then I figured that made it fun.

Seventy-two of you thought so too.

At least we are all in the same boat. That’s what makes football the popular sport it is.

You never know when some mediocre or just gosh awful team is going to up and beat the front runner.
That happened with the Miss. State/UAB game, the NFL game between the Bengals and the Steelers and the awesome overtime victory of Arkansas over Alabama.

Those three teams cost a lot of us some points and maybe shook up our confidence level a bit.

Oh well, another week of football is on the horizon.

Really, it is already here as Southern Miss. played Tuesday night and Auburn and South Carolina played last night.

It makes football a daily thing now, except nobody has really approached playing on Wednesday yet. That will be coming in a few weeks.

I hope more people will get involved in the Football Contest and make it even more exciting this week.

The game and score between South Panola and Olive Branch is the tiebreaker in case there are some surprises in this week’s.

I really feel there are a lot of freebies in this week. Some just need to be on the contest like the Memphis/ Tennessee game. Since defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn was fired by Memphis last week, this will be head coach Tommy West’s first game as the defensive coordinator in a few years.

We wonder how he will stack up against Tennessee. Unfortunately, we don’t have much confidence in Ole Miss and Miss. State at this point either.

We can still hope for the best for our teams.

See you on the sidelines…

SP Volley Ball
     The South Panola junior varsity took on Hernando Tuesday evening. Team members include (left to right) Whitney Pegues, April Contretras, Barbrelle Hentz and Aimorye Farris.
ND to celebrate homecoming
By Angie Ledbetter

The North Delta Green Waves will be thinking about "The Wonderful World of Waves" tonight for homecoming 2006.

The Green Waves will be hosting the winless Blue Devils from Tunica Institute and hoping to get back in the "win" column after losing last week in a very close district game to the Desoto, Ark. Thunderbirds.

The Green Wave (2-3 overall, 1-1 district) will be looking to top off their homecoming week festivities with a win. A district win tonight would put the Green Wave in a much better position as far as the playoffs are concerned.

In district 1-A North, Bayou Academy leads the district as of last Friday night with a 3-0 district record. There is a four way tie for second place with Desoto, Ark., North Delta, Marvell, Ark., and West Memphis, Ark. with a record of 1-1 each. Tunica is in last place with a 0-5 overall, 0-3 district.

The Blue Devils will be coming into this game very hungry for a win. They are in desperate need for a win to have any chance at all for decent season.

What better time to do that than on the Green Wave’s homecoming night and on Green Wave turf?

It has been several years since the Green Waves and the Blue Devils met in a football game. The Blue Devils had a record of 3-7 last year, 8-3 in 2004, and 6-3 in 2003. So far, this year looks to be worse than last year for the Blue Devils.

With only 20 players on their roster and a very young team, the Blue Devils have struggled. Only four seniors, seven juniors, and nine sophomores make up their team.

One playmaker for the Blue Devils is No. 7 quarterback Clay Harrison, a senior who is 5’10", 165 pounds. Trey Woods No. 44, a running back, is another senior playmaker. He is 6’2", 220 pounds. Junior Kaleb Brown, No. 38, 5’6", 180 pounds, is the other runningback.

The Green Waves need to bounce back strong tonight, according to head coach Richard Russo. They have lost two straight road games to Kirk and Desoto, Ark., respectively.

The Green Waves too will be hungry for a win tonight. It will be a battle of who wants the "WIN" the most, Russo said.

"Since it’s homecoming night, it would be a little bit more challenging for the team to stay focused but that is the coaching staff’s job," Russo said. "It will come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes and who can make plays when they are needed."

Tunica runs some very unorthodox plays on the offense, according to Russo. He said sometimes they will go quad formation, which is four receivers on one side.

"They like to run out of the shotgun a lot," he said. "They run a lot of misdirection and reverse plays. We just better be focused on the game and get prepared this week. If I were the players, I would be thinking that Tunica is hungry for a win. We better come out and play four quarters of winning effort."

Despite Tunica’s winless record, Russo said Tunica has a lot of factors that make them a dangerous team.

"I think up the middle on their defense is pretty solid actually," said Russo. "The first teams have had success running to the outside. We are going to try to do a similar thing but we are not going to abandon the between the tackle game."

The pep rally and the homecoming presentation will be at 11 a.m. today in the school gym. School will be dismissed after that is over.

The pregame show will be at 7 p.m. on FM 106.9 with Russo. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Green Wave Field. The Homecoming queen will be crowned at halftime. The senior maids are Caroline Moore, Chelsey Russell, Camille Williams and Ashley Turman.

NP to host Independence for homecoming
By Myra Bean

"What better time to get the first win of the season than by an upset over the Independence Wildcats on homecoming night?" said North Panola coronation emcee Mike Britt, Wednesday night.

LaTasha Hill and Joseph Taylor were crowned Mr. and Miss Homecoming 2006 during the annual event at North Panola Wednesday.

North Panola is 0-5 overall, 0-2 district for the season. Head coach Vincent Johnson reports the team members are still practicing hard and they play every game to win.

"I accept no excuses for why we lose," Johnson said. "We are still sticking with the same plan to win.

"We may not have immediate success," he said, "but if we stick with our guns, we will have success."

Johnson expects a hard fought game out of Independence. He said they fly to the ball and will play hard.

Independence (2-3 overall, 1-0 district) only has one district game under its belt. The Wildcats defeated Byhalia 15-0 last week at home.

Leading the Cougars this season is junior running back Bruce Wilbourn who has nine touchdowns on the season.

The annual homecoming parade will be held today beginning at 5 p.m. in downtown Sardis. The game will kick off at 7 p.m.

There will be a Homecoming Dance for North Panola students only following the game.

Mississippi powers to clash in USA Today’s Game of the Week
From USA Today online

No. 17 South Panola of Batesville, puts its 50-game win streak on the line this Friday when it visits Region 1 rival Olive Branch Friday at 7 p.m. in this week’s USA TODAY High School Football Game of the Week.

An audio webcast of the game will be available at , featuring the broadcast of WBLE in Batesville. The play-by-play will be handled by Bob Norris, who has been doing the South Panola games for the past 22 years, and George Carlson. A pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m.

South Panola (5-0) is Mississippi’s three-time defending Class 5A state champion and defeated Olive Branch twice last year, including 26-0 in the 5A semifinals.

Olive Branch (5-0) features a prolific offense which averages 60 points per game, with scoring outputs of 72 and 89 points, and a stingy defense that has pitched four consecutive shutouts.

Mississippi powers to clash in USA Today’s Game of the Week
From USA Today online

No. 17 South Panola of Batesville, puts its 50-game win streak on the line this Friday when it visits Region 1 rival Olive Branch Friday at 7 p.m. in this week’s USA TODAY High School Football Game of the Week.

An audio webcast of the game will be available at , featuring the broadcast of WBLE in Batesville. The play-by-play will be handled by Bob Norris, who has been doing the South Panola games for the past 22 years, and George Carlson. A pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m.

South Panola (5-0) is Mississippi’s three-time defending Class 5A state champion and defeated Olive Branch twice last year, including 26-0 in the 5A semifinals.

Olive Branch (5-0) features a prolific offense which averages 60 points per game, with scoring outputs of 72 and 89 points, and a stingy defense that has pitched four consecutive shutouts.

     The South Panola slowpitch softball team defeated Greenville-Weston Tuesday to earn a berth in the playoffs.
     The Lady Tigers will take on Madison Central in Madison, Tuesday, October 10. The times have not been set.
     The teams will have to play the best two of three to advance in the playoffs.
     South Panola will host Clarksdale in its last regular season game at Trussell Park at 4 p.m. Seniors will be recognized.
The South Panola baseball team finished its Fall Instruction League and over 60 youngsters participated.
     "We had an excellent camp and the kids really learned a lot," said head baseball coach Patrick Robey.
     Several Tiger baseball team players helped out with the camp including Cody Alford, Coty Bryant, Joseph Blair, Robby Brown, Ethan Bright, David Renfroe, Corbin Moore, Marty Stokes and Ryan Maxwell along with all the coaches.
Registration for the city of Batesville gymnastic classes will be held Monday, October 9 at 5 p.m. at the Batesville Intermediate gymnasium.
     Classes are open to boys and girls ages 5 and up. The cost is $30 per month.
College Football
     Mississippi State’s football game at LSU, Saturday, September 30, has been chosen by Lincoln Financial Sports for regional telecast, the Southeastern Conference announced Monday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CT at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.
     Ole Miss will host Georgia in an 8:12 p.m. CT kickoff on ESPN2.
     Georgia is ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Ole Miss is not receiving votes in either poll.
     Saturday’s game will mark the first meeting between the two teams since 2002 and will mark Ole Miss’ SEC home opener.
     South Panola lost its last home volleyball match in three games to Hernando 20-25, 15-25 and 16-25. Trice Lewis was recognized as the only senior on the team.
     The Lady Tigers will play its final game of the season Thursday, October 5, against Whitehaven on the road at 5 and 6 p.m.

Copyright 2005-2006 by The Panolian, Inc..  All rights reserved
Copyright 2001-2004 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.