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Lauderdale teams tune up for region play

By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 21, 2001
The drive to post-season playoffs begin for some in the Meridian Star's coverage area, while others have one more week of tune-ups.
One of the big tune-up games will be at Meridian High's Ray Stadium where the Tupelo Golden Wave come to town.
Tupelo enters with a 3-0 record and a No. 10 ranking in this week's Associated Press prep football poll.
"They are going to bring a big team that looks to be pretty physical," said Meridian Head Coach Bill Sartin.
"Not only can they both run and throw, they are also pretty sound on defense," Sartin added.
The Wildcats are coming off their first win of the season, a 21-13 decision at Louisville last week in Louisville. The game was Meridian's best offensive performance of the season to date with 270 yards in total offense including 213 rushing.
Playoff stakes are in order at Lamar School where the Raiders are set to take on Central Hinds in the District 3-AAA. Both teams come in with 1-2 records.
Central Hinds, however, is coming off a huge 42-0 win over Benton Academy. Lamar is still licking wounds from last Saturday's 35-14 loss to Heidelberg Academy.
"We've adjusted some things that we're doing on offense. We're a beat-up football team, but this is a do or die game for us because we only play three district games," said Lamar School Head Coach Mac Barnes.
Northeast Lauderdale is off to a surprising 3-0 start under new coach Andy Stevens but they face a stern test at Magee tonight.
Magee won the State 3A championship last season to give them four since the playoffs were started in 1981. They have moved up to 4A this season and this is the Region 5 opener for both teams.
"We've got a good chance to beat them if we play hard," Stevens said.
At West Lauderdale, the Knights open Region 5-3A play against visiting Heidelberg. West comes in with a 2-1 record while Heidelberg is 0-3.
The Clarkdale Bulldogs tune up for next week's region opener by taking a trip to Seminary. The Bulldogs are 2-1 following an overtime loss to Southeast Lauderdale.
As for Southeast, they head to Carthage for its Region 3-5A opener. Both teams are 2-1.
Outside the county, unbeaten Newton County (3-0) heads to Philadelphia to battle Neshoba Central (1-2).
In other games, Quitman goes to South Jones; Enterprise hosts Raleigh; Union is at Thomastown; Noxapater is at Nanih Waiya; Forest goes to Newton; Kemper County heads to Bay Springs; Heidelberg Academy ventures to Central Academy in Macon; Wayne County heads to Pascagoula while Wayne Academy takes on Kemper Academy.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at