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SP Tigers honored

South Panola head coach Lance Pogue was named American Football Monthly’s Southwest Coach of the Year. He holds the state championship trophy and poses with his son Tyler and wife Dixie. The South Panola coaching staff was named the Coachiing Staff of the year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) for 5A and District 1-5A coaching staff of the year. The Panolian photo by Angie Ledbetter

Tigers rack up with post season honors

By Myra Bean
The votes are in and the South Panola Tiger team and coaching staff racked up.

Running back Darius “Tig” Barksdale was voted the Most Valuable Player of 5A by the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) and in District 1-5A.

At press time Friday, Barksdale was waiting to see if he would be selected by The Clarion-Ledger as Mr. Football for the state of Mississippi for 2007. Former teammate Chris Strong was Mr. Football 2006.

Barksdale rushed for 2,917 yards on the season and carried the ball 327 times. He scored 35 touchdowns rushing and receiving. He also threw for one touchdown on the season.

His talents did not stop there as he was a force to be reckoned with on defense with 26 tackles, a fumble recovery and two interceptions.

His most memorable game was against Olive Branch in the north half championship when he rushed for 409 yards and scored four touchdowns. He played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game where he rushed 15 times for 73 yards on Monday, December 17.

Barksdale will play in the U.S. Army All-American game on January 5 in San Antonio. The game will be televised live on NBC beginning at noon central standard time.

South Panola head coach Lance Pogue and the entire coaching staff were honored with coaching staff of the year by the MAC and District 1-5A. The coaching staff includes Willis Wright, Arnie Oakes, Mark Weaver, Ben Ashley, Artee Smith, William Stewart, Trey Dickerson and Gary Sims.

Other Tiger members were named to the MAC first and second team offense and defense.

On the first team defense was senior defensive end Terrance Pope. On the second team defense were junior linebacker David Conner and senior defensive back Montez Austin.

Named to the first team offense were senior offensive linemen Quin Sanford, Cameron Wagner and CorDarrius McMurry.

Coaches from District 1-5A also voted for postseason outstanding players.

Voted to All-District First team were junior offensive lineman Don Blevins, senior tight end David Baker, senior offensive linemen Cameron Wagner and Quin Sanford, senior defensive end Terrance Pope, and junior linebackers Marvin Burdette and David Conner.

Honorable Mentions include offensive linemen Jonathan Wilson, CorDarrius McMurry, tailback Mario Nash, wide receiver Xavier Lee, quarterback David Renfroe, fullback Reuben Corley, linebackers Kendrick Strong, Justin Carothers, and Joshua Shipp, defensive lineman Deshun Sandridge and cornerbacks Bud Barksdale and Montez Austin.

Quin Sanford and Terrance Pope also played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star game. This year Mississippi won 26-7.

The three players from South Panola all started and did well, according to Pogue.

“They did an outstanding job of representing the school,” Pogue said. “They played a big part in the win.”

Sanford was on the offensive line.

“Terrance was effective all night on defense,” Pogue said. “He put a lot of pressure on the Alabama quarterback. All three did a great job.”

South Panola ended the season 15-0 with a 75-game win streak in tact. It is the longest active win streak in the nation. They are ranked No. 9 nationally by the USA Today and No. 3 by Sports Illustrated.