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There was plenty to see in 2000

By Staff
Dec. 27, 2000
It's certainly hard to believe another year has come and gone.
Another year with no deer hunting.
Another year with not enough turkey hunting.
Another year without winning the lottery.
Another year with the Saints losing.
Oops. Old habits die hard.
You get the picture. But instead of telling you of all the things I didn't do and instead of filling your heads with silly New Year's resolutions that I'll never keep I decided I'd tell you what I did get to do in 2000.
Every year at this time, news-wire services and cable sports outlets flood you with their "Best of the Year" stories. If you don't like those, stop reading here.
I enjoyed a host of national sporting events, but I'll only write about the ones I witnessed first-hand.
And since I know now that I'm not going to any bowl games this week, I'll take my chances that nothing earth-shattering will happen to me between now and 2001.
The local sports scene in the past 12 months was much broader than the one you're about to read. But if I wasn't there, you won't read about it. So, without further hesitation, here's my annual compilation of my Top 10 Most Memorable Sporting Events of the past year:
No. 10: Lake's run to the Class 1A state championship in baseball last spring. The blue-collar Hornets had plenty of talent and a special small-town feel that made them fun to watch.
No. 9: Newton County winning the Class 1A-2A-3A state championship in fast-pitch softball. The Lady Cougars barely escaped Union and Clarkdale in district play, but blasted the competition in the state tournament.
No. 8: Tupelo's win over Meridian in the Class 5A girls' state semifinals last March. Again, the local team lost, but Tan White's 42-point performance in that roller-coaster affair left an impression on all of us.
No. 7: The annual installments of the ever-growing rivalry between Newton County and West Lauderdale. Take your pick: Josh Chaney's two-homer performance that beat the eventual state champion Knights at Decatur; or Jessica Ethridge's gutsy effort that carried the Lady Knights to the slow-pitch softball crown at Brandon.
No. 6: Scott Central's run to the Class 1A girls' state basketball championship. The Lady Rebels weren't supposed to win, and that just made it sweeter for coach Chad Harrison, who genuinely enjoyed the title.
No. 5: The latest of Central Academy's MPSA softball championships. I don't know what was better: Central's 29-0 drubbing of host Huntington in the title game; or the party that followed back at the hotel.
No. 4: Meridian High's 14-13 win over Brandon at Ray Stadium in the final week of the football season. Trust me. This game had the stuff that my grandkids will hear about.
No. 3: Newton County's loss to Magee in the Class 3A South State championship football game. I'm sure you've heard the details by now. And even though the Cougars lost, this game gets the nod over Meridian/Brandon because the stakes were higher.
No. 2: Watching Monique Horner break the state's career scoring record. Mo's friends made it a truly special night at MCC's Ivy Sports Center.
No. 1: Hands down, Mississippi State's 47-35 win over Florida that's even more stunning now. The Bulldogs twice had bigger crowds later in the year, but it could be a long time before Scott Field is that loud again.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at