| SP taps Pogue of Eupora as head football coach
| By Myra Bean
South Panola High School put to rest all speculations and hired Eupora native Lance Pogue as the new head football coach.
Pogue is leaving his position as head football coach/athletic director to take over the powerhouse South Panola football team. His hiring was approved by the South Panola School District Board of Trustees in a special meeting Monday afternoon.
"He was the best fit for what we are looking for and to expand at South Panola," said superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer when presenting Logan’s r?sum? to the board for approval.
Shaffer, South Panola high school principal Dr. Gerald Loden and defensive coordinator/assistant coach Willis Wright met and interviewed Pogue at an undisclosed meeting place last Thursday.
Wright described Pogue as a "player’s coach."
"I feel real good about him," Wright said. "He’s tough, though, and he will have to be tough. I think he will do a great job."
Pogue has a master of education degree from Delta State University. He also has a bachelor of science degree from Delta State in physical education.
He has been at Eupora since 1998. In 2000 Eupora had an 11-3 season, were division champions and north 2A runner-up. In 2001 the record was 10-2 and they were division champions. In 2002, they finished with a 13-2 season as 2A state runners-up. In 2003, Eupora posted a 10-4 season and north 2A runner-up.
In 2004 the record stood at 12-2 and north 2A runner-up. In 2005, they finished the season 10-2.
Eupora finished 2006 with a 7-4 record.
In 2004 he was an assistant coach for the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Game and in 2006 he was assistant coach for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star game.
Wright said when they were researching his credentials he got good reports about Pogue.
Pogue said he understands the tradition of football at South Panola and that is part of the challenge of taking this position.
"This is the premier job in the state, probably the southeast and I’m honored to be here," Pogue said. "I know what I am getting into. I know the expectations but to me that is the challenge this business presents."
Wright said Pogue gets along with the kids good.
"I have known him for a while," Wright said. "He is just a good old country boy who fits in real good with the rest of us country boys."
Pogue’s expectations are that he can connect with the players "right off the bat."
"I want them to be relaxed, feel comfortable," Pogue said. "We are not going to change anything from what they have been doing. There is not going to be any wholesale changes.
"I want them to understand we are going to carry on what they have been doing and maybe eventually add to that some," Pogue continued.
He said he coaches along a similar structure to what the team has been doing.
"I believe coach will be able to come in and have a very smooth transition," Loden said. "From the beginning of the process, I have been conveying we have a solid staff, the best staff in the state.
"We needed to make sure he can come in and work with our coaches and make sure we meet the needs of our players," Loden added. "We don’t want to have chaos with our players not understanding a new coach or a whole new system."
Pogue is aware of the changes and adjustments that have to be made.
"I have coached in 5A before as an assistant coach so I understand the makeup of it," he said. "It’s a little bit different being the head coach.
"I feel like I am well-prepared," Pogue added. "I feel like I have some big shoes to fill but I am ready to get it going."
Pogue was an assistant coach/defensive coordinator at Madison Central High School in Madison in 1997 when they were north half runners-up.
Pogue, 38, and his wife Dixie have two children, Tyler, nine years old, and Meleah, four years old.
| Tigers debut new field with win over Grenada
| By Myra Bean
The South Panola baseball team had a successful debut on its new field, but the biting wind and cold weather made fans and team members alike miserable.
Hundreds turned out to witness the Tigers’ 15-13 win over Grenada all huddled up for warmth in a game that took three hours and fifteen minutes to play.
This was the annual Wes Smythe Memorial Classic and the most valuable player of the game was South Panola catcher Mitchell Houston.
While that game was going on, the South Panola Lady Tigers were on their new field for the first time also, shutting out Winona 4-0.
Heath Bolton got the win for the Tigers and Brian Fortner got the save.
Whitney Kiihnl got the win for the Lady Tigers.
The Tigers led 9-0 going into the fourth inning then Grenada scored scored three runs in the top of the fourth to get back in the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, South Panola scored five runs to go ahead 14-3. Grenada kept battling and scored seven runs in the top of the fifth.
Going into the top of the seventh, South Panola led 15-12 and Grenada tried to erase that lead to force the Tigers to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
On a fielder’s choice, second baseman David Renfro connected with shortstop Tyler Benson for the third out in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
Ethan Bright hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the third inning.
Getting multiple hits were Renfroe, Bright, Marty Stokes and Joseph Blair. Benson hit a double.
The Tigers are back in action tonight at Cleveland for games at 5 and 7 p.m. They return home Friday to host Clarksdale in a varsity game only at 3:30 p.m.
Saturday the Tigers will host Cleveland East Side at 11 a.m. at 1 p.m. on the new field. Saturday night, they will host Byhalia at American Legion Park at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. since there are no lights at the new field.
| Lady Tigers open season with 4-0 shutout win
| By Myra Bean
Ashley Hicks coached the South Panola fast pitch team to a 4-0 shutout win over Winona in her debut as head coach.
Also, the team had a successful debut on the new softball field located across from South Panola High School, next to the baseball field.
Junior pitcher Whitney Kiihnl got the win for the Lady Tigers pitching the entire game.
Both teams had some trouble fielding fly balls as gusts of winds would shift the direction in which the balls would go.
Kasey Kelsay hit a two-RBI triple to drive home Bethany Moore and Kiihnl in the bottom of the second inning to get on the scoreboard first.
Haylei Plummer singled to drive home Kelsay for the third run of the inning.
Kelsey doubled in the bottom of the fourth inning to drive home Kiihnl who had singled to get on base for the fourth and final run.
Both teams showed a strong defense, but the Lady Tigers’ offense saved the day.
The Lady Tigers hosted Ridgeland yesterday but the score was not available at press time.
They will be home today for a game against Senatobia at 4 p.m. Thursday, the Lady Tigers will host Grenada in non-conference play at 4 p.m.
| Jr. baseball league forms
| The Batesville Parks and Recreation is organizing a 13-15-year-old boys baseball league. Registration will be held Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. at American Legion Park.
Plans are to field four teams. The cost is $25. Any adult who would like to coach a team should come to the registration. Games will be played at American Legion.
| English language still evolves with text messaging
By Robert Neill
Sitting here by the compooter table is a red Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Matter of fact, it says it’s the "Ninth New" model. It is dated 1985, which means I probably inherited it from Christie, my oldest daughter. I reckon if I got a new one, it would be the "Thirtieth New" Model?
I have a big double-volume set of Funk & Wagnalls "Twentieth Century" Dictionary in my library. It says it was published in 1964, so I expect I got it for college myownself.
It’s the dictionary I most often refer to, and it doesn’t even list a word called "Modem."
"Mouse" is defined as the little gray furry creature we catch in traps (or, as a "timid woman"), although the Webster’s does define mouse in the computer sense.
It’s interesting to look through an older dictionary to see not what words it does list, but to see what words it does NOT list! Two generations of dictionaries are completely silent as to some of the words we use in everyday language today. See, it doesn’t take hundreds of years for a language to evolve – like, when you read a King James Bible compared with the New Revised Standard Version. All those "thees" and "thous" that Jesus spoke (in red letters) have disappeared from the new Bibles. Heck, the 23rd Psalm isn’t even recognizable any more!
Okay, I volunteer teach a Creative Writing Course in an Alternative School, and ran into another form of language evolvement last week. I had assigned a poem on a strong childhood memory to the students, and one girl – we’re talking mid-teens here – could hardly wait for her pencil to hit the paper.
I mean, she was smoking that poem! I leaned over her shoulder to see what memory had stirred such passion within her, and was taken aback: she was writing words that I could tell what they meant, but they weren’t spelled right atall!
I could tell that she was remembering her grandmother baking cookies, and she was drawing a great "Word Picture" of that – I could almost smell the molasses cookies my own grandmother used to make for us. I understood the meaning of the poem, but I had trouble actually reading the words, if that makes any sense?
Politely, I pointed to the word that I understood meant "Baking," and asked, "Do you know how that is supposed to be spelled?"
She ignored me for a moment, intent on finishing her thought on paper. Then she looked up at me in surprise. I repeated my question, pointing to the first of many words she had misspelled, though I had somehow gotten the sense of her poem.
She frowned, then brightened, and leaned forward with eraser poised.
"Oh, I see what I’ve done!" she exclaimed.
"I’m writing on paper the way I text message on my cell phone! I’ll fix it."
I grabbed her arm.
"No, don’t change it. I need to know this. I don’t have text messaging on my phone, or at least, I can’t reply. But my son sends me text messages, and you’re right. It’s a different language."
Are we seeing how language will evolve (or maybe devolve?) in the next generation? Read the following: "My grnny b baken d bes cookz n d worl n 2day b d baken day. I cnt wait 2 gt hme fr chclt chp hot frm d ovn & mlk. U r comin hme w/me, ok?"
It does get the idea across quickly, if you are aware of the code. It amazes me how fast youngsters can text, too. Betsy and I went to the Bologna Performing Arts Center for a production several months ago, and in the seat next to me was a young co-ed who, in spite of the announcement for everyone to turn off their cell phones, began a text-message conversation not long after the performance started.
Even in the dark, she felt my glare after a few minutes of the slight "beep-beep-beep" noise irritated me, disturbing my enjoyment of the evening entertainment.
But she didn’t quit texting; she had worn a long coat to B-PAC, and simply covered up with the coat, which did muffle the beeping noise. Yet I had to wonder why she’d come to such a place, to sit in the dark under her coat and carry on a text conversation.
She probably was saying, "D ol mn nxt 2 me b mad @ u & me."
| District 1-5A North Champions
South Panola Lady Tigers
| Third time’s a charm for SP
| The South Panola Lady Tigers are the District 1-5A North Champions after defeating Olive Branch 57-50 Friday night. They hosted Provine in the first round of the North State tournament Monday night.
| By Myra Bean
The 1-5A District Championship belongs to the South Panola High School Lady Tigers.
The Lady Tigers hosted the Provine Lady Rams in the first round of the North State Tournament Monday night. The score was not available at halftime.
South Panola defeated the No. 10 ranked Olive Branch Lady Quistors Friday night 57-50.
South Panola had lost to Olive Branch twice this season, but the third time proved a charm for the Lady Tigers.
It was an up and down night for both teams. South Panola jumped out to a 16-9 first quarter lead.
"We were real cold in the second quarter," said Lady Tiger head coach Ralph Stallings.
All four points the Lady Tigers scored in the second quarter came at the hand of Sabrina Townsend. Townsend scored 26 points to lead in scoring for the evening.
Olive Branch hit a desperation three-pointer at the end of the second quarter to put them up 23-20 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers fought their way back in the second half.
With about five minutes left to go in the game, the Lady Tigers were down 39-38, but some low post hustling by Skylar Barnes and Monteith Brewer gave the Lady Tigers needed second chance points.
On a three-point play, Barnes hit a field goal and was fouled and completed the free throw to tie the game at 41 with 4:16 left.
Olive Branch went ahead and another lost post field goal by Barnes tied the game. She was fouled and completed another three-point play to retake the lead 44-43 with 3:24 on the clock.
Townsend forced a turnover and then on an assist from Tenisha Mitchell, Brewer scored on a field goal for a little breathing room 46-43 with 2:53 on the clock.
Olive Branch closed the gap on a basket with 2:42 left, 46-45.
South Panola fouled Olive Branch and they tied the score at 46 hitting one of two free throws with 1:48 left in the game.
On an assist from Vetorra Cole, Barnes scored with 1:29 left in the game to retake the lead 48-46.
Brewer got an offensive rebound and banked a shot off the glass for the 50-46 lead with 1:07 left in the game.
Olive Branch was not finished as they completed two free throws on a one-and-one to stay within reach with 1:00 on the clock.
The hustling between these two teams intensified. Olive Branch fouled twice and sent Townsend to the line for one-and-one. She hit four free throws for the 52-48 lead with 31.6 seconds left in the game.
Olive Branch was able to score one more field goal on an offensive rebound, but the Lady Tigers pulled off the upset.
"We gave a great effort," Stallings said. "We came out real focused and real determined. It was a great win over a real fine Olive Branch team."
Other scorers for the Lady Tigers include Brewer, nine points; Barnes, eight points; Cole, six points; Essie Thomas and Mitchell, four points each.
If the Lady Tigers defeat Provine, they will go to the North State Semifinals to be played Friday night against the winner of the Tupelo/Vicksburg game at 6 p.m.
The game will be at Tupelo if Tupelo wins or at Murrah if Vicksburg wins. If Tupelo or Murrah loses, the next site will be at Warren Central for the North Half Tournament.
| Cougars are district runners-up
| By Myra Bean
It was a hair pulling night as the North Panola Cougars lost the lead, game and district championship to the Independence Wildcats 57-53.
North Panola dominated throughout most of the game and led by 10 points at the half, 33-23.
The tide turned in the second half when Independence started making a comeback.
"Independence is a very good team," said Cougar head coach Eric Rice. "We just were not able to answer them."
Independence outscored North panola 12-11 in the third quarter, but the Cougars still had a 44-35 lead.
Independence used its three-point shooting capabilities to pull itself back into the game. The Wildcats were able to make the defensive plays on the Cougars that were lacking in the first half of the game.
In the fourth quarter, Independence was stealing and forcing turnovers with this fast-pace defense.
With 6:11 left, Independence tied the game. They went ahead 46-44 on a steal and field goal with 3:44 left in the game. A traveling call on the Cougars gave the ball back to the Wildcats who scored and increased the lead 44-46 with 2:54 left in the game.
The Cougars were not able to catch up. They pulled within two points a couple of times while using their fouls with less than a minute left, but they were not able to regain the advantage.
"We made a couple of mental errors," Rice said. "Our guys played well, though. We are proud of them.
"To get from where they were to now, they kept fighting and kept working," Rice added.
Ramone Robinson was the second leading scorer of the game with 18 points. Independence’s Jarvis Whitelaw was the leading scorer with 19 points.
Also scoring for North Panola were Bruce Wilbourn, 14 points; Rodregus Black, nine points; Nick Black and Dexter Robinson, six points each.
North Panola will be one of the hosts of the 3A North State Tournament. They will host Houston High School at 7 p.m. tonight. The winner of this game will face the winner of Humphreys County/Corinth game Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
| Grizzlies get win over Hornets; fall to Pacers
| By Angie Ledbetter
It was a sweet win that came down to the last two minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies when they topped the New Orleans Hornets 108 – 104 on Tuesday, February 13 at the FedEx Forum before a home of crowd of 10,641.
The game was tied 97-97 with 2:13 minutes left on the clock. The next two points came when Hakim Warrick made his two free throws to give the Grizzlies a 99-97 lead with 1:52 left on the clock.
Warrick didn’t stop there, he slam dunked it for two points with 1:32 left and then came a jump ball. Rudy Gay stole the ball from New Orleans’ top player Desmand Mason with 1:15 left.
That was the New Orleans Hornets’ 17th turnover of the night. Warrick got the ball and slammed dunked it again for two more points to give the Grizzlies a 103-97 lead with 53.7 seconds left in the game.
New Orleans’ David West fouled Pau Gasol, who went to the free throw line and missed both shots with 37.2 seconds left.
The next Hornet foul found Tyson Chandler at the free throw line, making one of his shots. With 15.9 seconds left, on another Hornets foul, Chucky Atkins made his two free throws to give the Grizzlies a 105-98 lead over the Hornets.
The Hornets continued to fight when David West sank a three pointer with 10.9 seconds on the clock to come within four points.
Atkins went to the free throw line and made one of two free throw shots.
The Grizzlies had a 106-101 lead over the Hornets with 10.1 seconds left on the clock.
Gay tried for two free throws and made both to give the Grizzlies a 108-101 lead with 4.0 seconds left.
The Hornets came back and Butler made a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds left in the game.
There were 10 lead changes in the game and 12 ties. Points in the pocket, the Hornets had 50 and the Grizzlies had 32. Second chance points, the Hornets had 28 and the grizzlies had 16.
The leading scorer for the Grizzlies was Mike Miller with 22 points. Atkins had 19 and Gay had 15. Gasol had 15 rebounds, Hakim Warrick had 12, and Lawrence Roberts had seven rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Atkins had six assists. while Miller had six assists, two steals, one block and four rebounds.
For the Hornets, Desmond Mason had 23 points, David West had 22, and Tyson Chandler had 17. Tyson Chandler tied a franchise record for the Hornets with 23 rebounds, also his career high. Chris Paul had 10 assists for the Hornets.
This was the 53rd regular season game for the Grizzlies and they improved their record to 14-39 and the Hornets went to 24-29.
The Grizzlies were on the road the next night, February 14, at Indiana to take on the Pacers and lost 114-104 before getting a break for the All-Stars in Las Vegas.
In the All-Star game, Grizzlies’ Gay scored a game high 31 points.
Their next game is tonight at Seattle playing the Sonics. The Grizzlies will be on the road stretch three games before returning home to the FedEx Forum on Monday, February 26, when they host the Denver nuggets at 7 p.m.
On Wednesday, February 28, they host the Utah Jazz at home also at 7 p.m.
While most of the Grizzlies team were enjoying spending their break with family or friends, Mike Miller and Rudy Gay were in Las Vegas competiting in the 2007 All Star Game.
On Friday night, February 16, Gay played in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge game against the Sophomores at the Thomas and Mack Arena before a crowd of 15,694. Gay scored a game high 22 points but not enough to win the game against the Sophomores.
The sophomores won the game by a huge margin of 155 – 114. Gay (F) was 9 of 14 on field goals, 0 of 1 for three pointers, 4 of 4 on free throws, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. The Rookies and the Sophomores each had 15 turnovers. The Sophomores had 45 points on fast break points to the Rookies’ 22. The biggest lead was when the Sophomores had 43 and the Rookies had 20. On points in the paint, the Sophomores had 100 and the rookies had 74. On unanswered points, the Sophomores had 2 and the rookies had 0.
Mike Miller was selected to compete in the Foot Locker 3-Point Shootout on Saturday, February 17 at the Thomas and Mack Center. Miller currently ranks first in the league in three-point goals made (150), second in attempts (349) and tenth in three-point field goals percentage (.430).
He is one of four Grizzlies to have appeared in all 50 of the team’s games this season and is posting career highs in scoring (18.1 ppg), rebounding (5.8 rpg), assists (4.3 apg) and minutes (39.6 mpg).
This marks Miller’s second time he competed in the three point shootout, but first with the Grizzlies. It was televised live nationally as part of the NBA All-Star. The winner was Jason Kapono from Miami with 24 points. Miller from the Grizzlies had 18 points.
The NBA All-Star Game was Sunday night, February 18, live from the Thomas and Mack Center.