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Rivalries add excitement to high school football games

By By Austin Bishop / EMG regional sports director
Aug. 19, 2002
Mulling over many musings on a Monday while wondering whatever happened to Ben Garry …
With prep football season just around the corner, this as good a time as any to take a look at some of the dates for some of the areas bigger rivalries.
Some of your team's big games may be left out of the list, but these are the showdowns I consider to have the most interest with the diehard fans and the outside observer.
Aug. 29: Newton High School pays a visit to traditional small-school power Lake on a Thursday night.
Aug. 30: Choctaw County (Ala.) plays host to Southern Choctaw High School in a matchup of the county's two only public schools; Meridian visits Laurel in a game with tons of history;
Sept. 6: Meridian High hosts Starkville in a game that has featured many college players over the past years; Northeast Lauderdale plays host to county rival Southeast Lauderdale;
Sept. 12: In a traditional Thursday matchup the two teams from the southern part of Lauderdale County square off, as Southeast Lauderdale plays host to Clarkdale.
Sept. 13: Neshoba Central plays host to Philadelphia in a game that usually gives one team a boost and the starts the other on a slide in the wrong direction; Choctaw Central travels east to take on Cherokee, N.C. in the battle between two Native American tribes. This one carries a little extra importance for both teams; Heidelberg High School hosts Bay Springs in the battle of Jasper County; Kemper Academy hosts neighboring Central Academy of Macon; West Lauderdale entertains Northeast Lauderdale; Union plays host to Lake;
Sept. 20: In the only football game played between two Winston County schools, Noxapater plays host to Nanih Waiya; Heidelberg Academy visits Louisville to face on-again, off-again league rival Winston Academy; Philadelphia plays host to Choctaw Central;
Sept. 27: Neshoba Central hosts Louisville in the first division game for both teams; Newton County plays host to what is fast becoming its biggest rival in all sports, West Lauderdale; Wayne Academy plays host to Winston Academy in the first of a pair of important back-to-back division home games;
Oct. 4: Enterprise plays host to Bay Springs in a battle of division foes; Heidelberg Academy visits Wayne Academy in what could determine the conference championship once again;
Oct. 18: Enterprise entertains Taylorsville in a key league game. The two teams, along with Bay Springs, have been fighting for playoff spots for years;
Oct. 25: Southeast Lauderdale pays a visit to West Lauderdale;
Nov. 1: Livingston (Ala.) High School plays host to county rival Sumter County; Northeast Lauderdale hosts Quitman High School;
Nov. 8: Meridian pays a visit to Hattiesburg;
That's just a quick run-through of the big rivalry games on tap for this football season.
If there is a game that you think should be included among the list of rivalries, then just drop me a line at 693-1551, ext. 3234 and explain to me why. Be sure to leave your name and phone number. Or you can fax the information at 485-1275.
Thoughts from a proud father
Don Wiggins, the father of 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Star Kyle Wiggins is certainly proud of his son. But it just doesn't stop with Kyle.
The following three paragraphs are from a note Don dropped by my office before he left for Clifton Park, N.Y. to watch Meridian play in the Babe Ruth World Series.