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Legendary Crimson Tide coach is still winning games, sort of

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
Sept. 19, 2003
Did you know Bear Bryant was still winning football games?
Bear Bryant High School that is.
Seems the folks over in Tuscaloosa, Ala., split up once-powerful Tuscaloosa Central High School into three schools this year. The two spinoffs are Bryant High School and North Ridge High School.
Bryant was 2-0 with a win over North Ridge before losing to Starkville last week. The Yellowjackets take on North Ridge this week.
Central has fallen on hard times with the split, losing its first two games by 56-0 and 37-0 margins.
Meanwhile, in games in our area tonight, Meridian looks to get back-to-back wins when the 1-2 Wildcats travel to the Gulf Coast to take on St. Martin, 1-1.
Meridian has played many teams from the Coast before Biloxi, Gulfport, Gulf Coast Military Academy, Pascagoula, Moss Point, Gulfport East but this will be the Cats' first date with St. Martin.
Lamar, 3-1, has a big test at MRA, 3-0. The Patriots are coming off a 41-19 win over Magnolia Heights in a rematch of last year's Academy AAA, Division II state championship won by Magnolia Heights.
Leading MRA are quarterback Chad Crosswhite, who has committed to Mississippi State in baseball, and Phillip Harrison. The two also did a dandy job in broadcasting part of the Noxapater-Hamilton baseball series this past spring.
A big Division 4-4A game is on tap in Louisville as Neshoba Central tries to win back-to-back games for the first time since 2000 when the Rockets, 1-2, visit Louisville, 1-2. The Wildcats have won 10 straight in the series to take a 23-5 lead.
Also of importance in Division 5-4A is the Battle of Northeasts as the Lauderdale County boys host the crew from Jones. The Tigers from Laurel hold a 13-5 series lead.
Quitman, 1-2, and Newton County, 1-2, launch a new series at Decatur.
In a major reality check, Wayne County's 3-0 War Eagles host Florence, 1-2, in their 5-4A opener.
Big games in Division 5-3A have West Lauderdale, 2-1, hosting Choctaw Central, 2-1; and Forest, 2-0-1, playing host to Southeast Lauderdale, 1-2.
West holds a 4-1 series lead over Choctaw Central, while Forest has won all six previous meetings with Southeast.
Philadelphia, 2-1, has its hands full at Taylorsville, 2-1, with the Tartars coming off a 6-0 loss to Lumberton. The teams have met five times previously with Taylorsville winning four (1991, 1997, 1998, and 2000) and Philadelphia winning once (1992). All five meetings were in the playoffs.
Academy 3-A has some good matchups as well. Winston, 1-3, goes to Heidelberg, 2-2, in a battle of teams with storied pasts. They have combined for 11 state championships and four state runner-up finishes.
Sylva-Bay, 3-1, looks to stay in the playoff hunt when the Saints host Kemper, 2-2. Another key matchup has Wayne, 1-3, hosting Newton County Academy, 2-2.
Central Academy, 2-2, looks to keep Calhoun, 0-4, winless when the Cougars come to Macon.
Nanih Waiya, 2-1, gets a major test when the Warriors host unbeaten Scott Central, 3-0, in a Region 3-1A contest.
What should be a hard-fought battle is slated for Newton where the Tigers, 0-3, look for their first win of 2003 when Enterprise, 2-1, calls.
Heidelberg's Oilers, 2-1, have a showdown with a 3-0 Hinds AHS squad that was 4-7 last year and 0-10 in 2001.
In other games, Clarkdale, 0-3, hosts Biloxi Mercy Cross, 2-1; Kemper County, 0-3, goes to Thomastown, 3-0; Lake, 1-2, hosts Madison St. Joseph, 0-2; Noxapater, 2-1, hosts South Leake, 2-0; Union, 0-3, goes to Edinburg, 0-3; and Leake Academy, 3-1, hosts Carroll Academy, 2-2.