State Games announces sportsman awards

By By Josh Taylor/The Meridian Star
Aug. 26, 2001
State Games of Mississippi honored two area natives Saturday night at their annual Sportsman Of The Year Banquet held on the Union Station.
Meridian's own Anthony Thomas (youth soccer) along with Collinsville's Wanda McAlister (dressage) were chosen to represent the State Games for 2001 as Sportsman of the Year.
Thomas, a ninth grader at West Lauderdale, has won three gold medals and one silver with his soccer team in recent years.
He was injured in a shooting accident two years ago and spent more than 20 days in the hospital. Still, he insisted on going to one of his games just days after the accident to pull for his team. He never lost his spirit.
McAlister has been competing in dressage for five years and has been competing with horses in various competitions for over 30 years.
Dressage is an equestrian competition. It is a team show with horse and rider, somewhat of a finesse form of horse riding.
The two will represent State Games for 2001 along with many other honors. They will be presented to the Mississippi state Senate and House in early January and will be presented with state resolutions.
Look for the pair to carry the torch for the 2002 State Games as well.
C.D. Smith of BellSouth and David Burns of Cingular presented the Sportsman of the year awards.
Athletes from all over the state were nominated by commissioners from different individual sports.
Sportsman of the year awards were also given for individual sports. For Archery it was Haleigh Moffett and Jacob Smith. The summer biathlon winner was Curtis Fancher.
Bowling winners were Adam Carson and Mary Janice Kasper. Canoe and Kayak sportsmen were Hugh Long and Jan Davis.
In the power lifting category, it was Jeff Douglas and Courtney Haralson. Masters swimmers were Cecil Jenkins and Laura Uecker. For 5K road races, it was Dr. Ivan Zamora and Holly Stennis Corbitt.
The State Games of Mississippi is an amateur sporting event open to all athletes in the state.
Josh Taylor is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. You can call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234 or e-mail him at