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Prep football nominations extended to Dec. 26

By Staff
From Staff Reports
Dec. 23, 2001
The deadline for nominations for the 2001 Meridian Star All-Area football team has been extended until Wednesday.
The team will be announced on Dec. 31.
So far only six schools Lamar, Enterprise, Leake, Quitman, Newton County and Union have submitted nominations, leaving more than 30 schools that have not participated.
Players can be nominated by coaches in one of three ways.
They can be sent by fax to 485-1275; sent by e-mail to sports@themeridianstar only or can be called in on Wednesday morning between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. at 693-1551, ext. 3234 or 3235.
Cooperation of the area coaches in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Austin Bishop
Blanks near the top in 3A
West Lauderdale junior running back Carleesio Blanks will be the top returning running back in Class 3A next year.
Blanks rushed for 2,090 yards off 269 carries and scored 26 touchdowns for the Knights who finished 7-5 and made it to the second round of the 3A playoffs before running into Newton County.
Blanks had two 300-yard plus games near the end of the season including a 356-yard rampage against Southeast Lauderdale which helped sew up the Knights' playoff bid.
Blanks' final rushing totals were bested only by Jamall Pittman of Columbia who had 3,117 yards and 36 touchdowns. Pittman, however, is a senior and along with Brandon's Jerious Norwood, is one of the state's top recruits.
Jeff Byrd
ECCC MPSA bracket released
Nine girls teams and 10 boys teams are taking part in the 2001 East Central Community College MPSA Mississippi Classic.
The event begins on Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
The Tournament tips off on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. when the Lamar boys meet the Kemper Academy Rams. The winner of that game plays second-seeded Leake on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
The other boys play-in game is between Heidelberg Academy and Newton Academy at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner of that matchup takes on top-seeded Starkville at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The other two boys games for Wednesday have Winston taking on Washington School at 45:30 p.m. and University Christian playing Indianola at 8:30 p.m.
There is only one girls play-in game. That is between Newton Academy and University Christian at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Other Wednesday games have Central facing Indianola at 4 p.m. and Lamar taking on second-seeded Leake at 7 p.m.
Kemper Academy and Washington School will face off at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
The girls finals are set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, while the boys finals will tip off at 8:30 p.m.
Austin Bishop
Stratton gets 500th win on farewell tour
Tupelo boys' basketball coach Lee Stratton recorded his 500th career victory on Dec. 14 in a 70-69 win over Corinth.
Former Meridian Wildcat Ricky Hood's last-second 3-pointer provided the winning margin.
Stratton, 501-179 entering this week, has coached 22 years with stops at Crystal Springs and Brookhaven before heading to Tupelo. Stratton retired from coaching last spring to take an administrative position, but returned to the court when a suitable replacement could not be found.
He will retire again when the season ends.
Marty Stamper
Forest event features several area teams
The Meridian High School Lady Wildcats will be one of eight squads taking part in the Central Mississippi Classic at Forest High School on Jan. 2-5.
Eight girls teams and seven boys teams are in the event. The MHS boys are not in the tournament.
There will be seven games on Wednesday, Jan. 2, beginning at noon with the Scott Central girls taking on Union.
Other games on Jan. 2 have the UHS and Scott Central boys facing off at 1:15 p.m., the Meridian and Lake girls laying at 2:30, the Pearl and Newton boys tangling at 3:45, the Forest and Pearl girls playing at 5 p.m., the Forest and Lake boys playing at 6:15 p.m. and the Choctaw Central and Newton girls wrapping things up at 7:30 p.m. The girls finals are set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, with the boys title game set to tip off at 8:30 p.m.
Austin Bishop
Ole Miss to offer fast pitch camps
Girls ages 8-18 can improve their softball skills at a pair of fast pitch clinics at Ole Miss on Jan. 12 and 19.
Participants will be placed according to age and ability. Registration continues until the clinics open at 10 a.m. for catching and 1 p.m. for pitching.
Registration fees include a T-shirt and are $30 for catching and $35 for pitching. A $10 non-refundable deposit is required. Each clinic will last about two hours.
The clinic will be taught by Ole Miss head softball coach Candi Letts and assistant coaches Dedeann Pendelton and Heather Swinney along with members of the Lady Rebels team. For more information, contact Dedeann Pendleton at 662-915-7186.
Marty Stamper
Trinity coach heading to the pros
Trinity Episcopal School girls' basketball coach Eric Rice is about to become a coach in the Global Basketball Association.
The North Natchez High School grad is a finalist for coaching jobs at Tampa, Fla., and Savannah, Ga.
Play in the GBA begins in February and runs through June with the playoffs slated for July.
Marty Stamper
Richey nearing the top rung
Baldwyn coach Sam Richey will soon become the winningest boys' basketball coach in state history.
A 58-56 win over Shannon Friday night was Richey's 863rd. He trails only former Gulfport legend Bert Jenkins, who has 866, and former Pearl River Central legend Roland Ladner, who won 867 games.
Richey's career record entering this week was 863-360. He has won six state championships. The first came at Jumpertown in 1971 with the next five coming at Wheeler in 1980, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1992.
Marty Stamper