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Local talent made DSU fun to watch

By Staff
Dec. 12, 2000
This and that on a Tuesday night …
I don't know if I've ever enjoyed watching a football game as much as I did this past Saturday.
In case you missed it, Delta State won the NCAA Division II football national championship in a thrill-a-minute, 63-34 thrashing on national television.
I'm not sure if it was fun because the Statesmen were so efficient or if it was because I was watching folks that I knew.
I can't count the times I sat and talked with Tim Colbert in the last few years, whether it be at an EMCC football game or at an area high school basketball game. But there Tim was Saturday, every time there was an injury on the field.
Colbert is now the trainer and a teacher at Delta State, and I think he must have slipped the ESPN camera guy a few extra bucks before Saturday's kickoff. I know Tim got plenty of face time on camera, in addition to being included in a couple of celebration shots.
There were other local guys I was proud of, like former Winston Academy coach Mark Hudspeth and ex-Winston quarterback Josh Hatcher. I even remembered Brian Jones of ECCC, and I didn't even know John Colenberg was at Delta State.
But I think I got the most enjoyment out of the former EMCC guys Colbert, Jason Franklin and Tanny Flowers living it up with a national title. Every one of them deserves it.
A few years ago, when EMCC was going through a rough spell, coach Tom Goode told me that if he had 20 players like Tanny Flowers, he'd win a national championship. Apparently, somebody else noticed …
MHS girls hoops: After the squad that included Michelle Davis and Latoya Graham, I didn't think there'd ever be a better girls' basketball team at Meridian High School.
I may have been wrong.
This year's Lady Wildcats have left an impression on me, and most folks don't even realize that Meridian's girls are doing it short-handed.
Senior guard/forward Chelse Alford, who plays the 3-spot for Donald Shirley, recently had her knee scoped and is probably out for another three-to-four weeks.
A lot of folks haven't noticed, because Chandra Collier has filled in so admirably. Collier, who nearly mirrors Alford in size and court presence, went from being one of the state's best bench players to a starting role and the Lady Wildcats haven't missed a beat.
That could be scary. The Lady Wildcats are jelling, and Alford's January return could put them over the top.
Must-see: Speaking of the Meridian girls, Shirley's bunch should get at least one good test in this week's Frazier-Yarbrough tourney.
But next week, Meridian's opponents are loaded for bear.
Meridian goes to Columbus High School next week for the 2000 Christmas Classic, where the Lady Wildcats get showdowns with Tupelo and Huffman, Ala.
Everyone knows about Tupelo's Tan White, the state's top player. And everyone knows White and her teammates have had Meridian's number.
The Dec. 22 showdown will likely pit two unbeatens, as well as matching Mississippi's No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in a rematch of last spring's Class 5A semifinal thriller.
If that isn't enough, Meridian's girls take on Huffman out of Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 23 in the Columbus event. Huffman's Lady Vikings are reportedly one of the top two Class 6A teams in Alabama.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sportswriter for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com

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