Myra Bean’s column

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2008

SP and OB rivalry heats up in print

As usual, the game between South Panola and Olive Branch brings back all the smack talk that makes football fun.

The Clarion-Ledger ranks South Panola No. 1 in the state and Olive Branch No. 5. The question they asked: Is this the year that Olive Branch ends South Panola’s streak?

It is a great question guaranteed to get a heated response. Those in the know got into deep detail of why South Panola remains solid or why Olive Branch has the edge.

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The South Panola game with Apopka, Fla. was a first time rivalry. This rivalry goes back a long way. The teams have been playing each other off and on for about 36 years. The heated rivalry started about 2000 when OB won 17-16. It has been on between these two teams ever since.

It became more heated when OB acquired such a competitive coach in Jamie Mitchell and the fire has not been turned down since.

This is such a great game for both teams who have a tendency to walk through their competition year-after-year. Both turned up the heat this year by playing tough teams from Florida. Both SP and OB won.

I have often said the national polls underestimate the teams in Mississippi. In the newly released “Y’all vs. Us” which highlights this rivalry between South Panola and Olive Branch I told the interviewer that Mississippi teams are underestimated on the national scene. I would put some of top teams in the state against some nationally ranked team and bet on Mississippi every time. South Panola forces other teams in the state to get better in their programs and it shows in the quality of players produced throughout the state.

No matter what, this should be a highly emotional, exciting game for the fans on both sides to watch and enjoy.

On a personal note, Son Hudson was a wonderful man. We would meet at the Mr. Jiffy on James Street just about every morning. I would be just getting off the bus and I guess he was heading to work. He was a quiet man that got his daily whatever and left the store with a smile. We would exchange a word or two of Tigerland talk and then go our separate days.

I always knew when I drove up or he drove up a second or two later by the truck he drove. I know the people in the store miss seeing his face daily and my thoughts and prayers are with the family.

He would fill out the football contest just about every week. I do not know what day he would drop it off but there was not one in there for last week. Friday may have been his drop off day and he did not get to deliver it. I guess we’ll never know.

One other side note–senior linebacker Pooh Griffith of the Pahokee, Fla. team that OB played the first game of the year was shot and killed on Saturday morning. That is all the information being released. The Pahokee team decided to go ahead and play USA Today No. 1 ranked Byrnes of Duncan, S.C. tonight in his honor.

Even though there are some sad notes and it is hard to enjoy the games with these missing pieces, I hope everyone who can will go out and support the teams.