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A new tradition: West Lauderdale, Lamar compete in soccer match

By Staff
HISTORIC GAME West Lauderdale's John Hime and Lamar School's Dylan Anderson battle it out at the Northeast Soccer Complex in a soccer game Saturday between the two schools. West Lauderdale won 7-1 the first sanctioned athletic competition between the the public and private schools. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael/staff writer
Jan. 7, 2002
Joey Rodgers stood on the sidelines at the Northeast Soccer Complex on Saturday and watched history unfold: a soccer game between a public and private school.
Rodgers' son, Brandon, is a star center midfielder for West Lauderdale High School who helped his team defeat Lamar School 7-1. It was the first sanctioned athletic contest between teams from the two schools.
And Rodgers couldn't have been happier. He coached more than half of the West Lauderdale and Lamar players in a recreational league before they moved on to high school.
The game was made possible by an agreement struck last summer by the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Mississippi Private Schools Association.
The agreement allows a one-year trial basis for sanctioned games between public and private schools. Saturday's contest attracted nearly 200 spectators and will count on both teams' records.
One of the people responsible for making Saturday's game possible was Bobby Sherrill, who schedules Lamar's soccer games.
When Brandon Rodgers looked across the field at his competitors Saturday, he said he saw many familiar faces.
One of those was his former teammate, Nick Lisi, who played alongside Rodgers for the Jackson Futbol Club team in recreational league a few years ago.
Lisi agreed.