Published 12:00 am Friday, October 26, 2007
Green Wave to play WMC for district championship
By Angie Ledbetter
The North Delta Green Wave are presently sitting pretty, but find themselves in a must-win situation to become the district champions.
The Green Wave (6-3, 3-1) will travel to West Memphis Christian in Ark. tonight to take on the Black Knights (1-7, 0-4) in both team’s last district game of the 2007 season.
Losing to Delta Academy three weeks ago hurt the Green Wave as it put them in second place.
A victory will give the Green Wave first place and sole ownership of the district championship, but a loss will put them in a three way tie with Marvell and Delta with a district record of 3-2.
The tie would be broken by a point system in place by the MPSA (Mississippi Private School Association).
Before that scenario is played out, the Green Wave has to take the field against a determined Black Knights team which is winless in district play.
The only game West Memphis has won was against Tipton-Rosemark on September 14, when they defeated them 28-14. In the district, the Black Knights lost to Marvell 26-13, Delta 21-6, Tunica 27-16 and Desoto 21-0.
The Black Knights have scored 83 points this season and allowed 208 points.
In meetings between these two teams, North Delta has a 2-0 advantage.
Last year, the Green Wave defeated the Black Knights 29-12. In 2003, the Green Wave won 61-18.
North Delta is coming off of a non conference win over Tupelo Christian 40-10 last Friday. They hope to add to their winning streak.
According to Green Wave head coach Richard Russo, in spite of the weather, practice has been great this week.
“The guys’ attitudes are great and they seem to want this win bad,” said Russo.
Senior wide receiver Michael Johnson said, “If we play like we did against Delta, we will not win. But we are going to win.”
Bateman Greenlee, Clayton Cole and Britt Lawrence echoed those sentiments.
“If we win, we will be district champions in girl’s softball, junior high football, and varsity football,” Lawrence said. “That will be great.”
The Black Knights lost to Desoto, Ark. 21-0 last Friday.
A win tonight would tie West Memphis with Tunica with a district record of 1-4 but Tunica beat the Black Knights so the Black Knights would still remain in last place.
WMC brings in a team of 29 players consisting of five seniors, nine juniors, seven sophomores and eight ninth graders. Leading the team will be junior quarterback Preston Pugh, 6’0”, 155 pounds. Other key players are Anthony Long, James Chong, Tucker Bankston and Kevin Fitzgerald.
“We are the only team in District 1A that is playing for the district championship this week,” Russo said. “We control our own destiny. It was stressed all week the significance and importance of this game. This is a must win situation for our team.
“Despite their record it is against a very good looking football team,” Russo said.
Russo is looking for the Green Wave to play with a sense of urgency and to play their best game of the season.
“The quarterback is the head coach’s son and is a very smart and elusive football player,” he said. “We have to hit him early and often and keep him contained.”
WMC runs a 3-5-3 defense which is the first time North Delta has seen that scheme in varsity this season.
“We better strap it on a bit tighter, bite down on our mouthpiece a bit more, and play 48 minutes of physical football,” Russo said.
The pep rally for the team will be at 2:20 today in the school gym. Pregame is at 7: p.m. with Russo on FM 106.9. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at West Memphis.
Directions: Take I-55 North to Memphis crossing into Arkansas (67.1 miles). Take exit 278 toward AR-77/Missouri Street (.1 mile). Stay straight to go onto North Service Road (.8 miles). Turn slight left onto AR-77 S/Missouri Street (.7 miles) 71 miles / 1 hr & 15 minutes.