Sports Column: Hot weather has been traded for very cold
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Dec. 6, 2002
Only two more days of high school football remain in the 2002 season. Where did the time go? Was it that long ago that sweat was pouring off the players as they were doing conditioning drills in August? Now instead of having to breathe heavy to catch their breath, they can watch it as it hits the chilly air.
With only five state championships and the academy all-star game remaining, it's only fitting that Wednesday was a day of rain and Thursday saw the temperatures plummet.
After all, most of the season was spent wallowing in the mud, either on the fields or on the sidelines. Several coaches said they hadn't been able to practice outside for an entire week during the tropical storms of September. May Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium be a field of goo and slop as well. After all, the teams should come to expect it by now. A repeat of the 1992 games' playing conditions would be nice.
The state championships get under way at 2:30 p.m. today with Puckett, 12-1, taking on Weir, 14-0 for the Class 1A title. I'm hoping the Lions wear the Wolves out enough to silence even the babblings of SpongeBob.
In tonight's 7:30 game, the Wayne County War Eagles meet South Panola for the Class 5A crown. These teams are like two peas in a pod. What one has as a strength, so does the other. The one thing South Panola has that Wayne County doesn't is coming from a community where state championships in football have been won before. Expectations can do strange things. Sometimes the pressure to do well is a big incentive. Sometimes it's too much for a team to handle.
The MPSA stages its all-star game tonight at Mississippi College with a 6 p.m. kickoff. Seven area players and two area coaches were picked to participate in the annual event.
The 2A title game finds Taylorsville, 11-3, and Eupora, 13-1, getting up early for an 11 a.m. kickoff. If that in itself isn't scary, the numbers both of these teams can put up on the scoreboard definitely are. Eupora should come in at least a little tired after having to go to overtime to win each of its last two games.
The 4A main event is slated for 3 p.m. Saturday with d'Iberville, 12-1, meeting West Point, 12-2. The Warriors from the coast can put up points, while the Green Wave from the Golden Triangle can take the opening 0 on the opponent's side of the scoreboard a long way into any game.
In the final title game, Collins, 14-0, puts a 27-game win streak on the line against a 10-4 Amory team that started out 0-4 for the Class 3A crown. After dismantling Newton County 46-0 last week, Collins should be looking for its second straight championship. As the visiting team, the Tigers will leave those green pickle uniforms at the house and for that, we can all be grateful.
Basketball season is under way as well and one of the longest streaks in the area has come to an end the sheer dominance of the Neshoba Central Lady Rockets over Philadelphia. A 57-51 Lady Tornadoes' win on Nov. 26 was the first for Philadelphia since a 60-43 victory over Neshoba in the first meeting of the 1991-92 season.
Since the two normally play four times a year (home and away and each other's tournament), that's a pretty impressive stretch by Neshoba Central.
Then factor in that the Lady Rockets beat the Lady Tornadoes 22 times in a row before the 1991 Philadelphia victory and you see the sheer dominance in the series.
The last time Philadelphia won the season's series was in the 1983-84 school year when the Lady Tornadoes spotted Neshoba the first two games before coming back to win the last three.