It's once again Stickball time at the fair

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
July 16, 2004
CHOCTAW Action has been as hot and heavy as the late-night air in the Stickball World Series at the 55th-annual Choctaw Indian Fair this week.
Two champions have already been crowned with the men's title yet to be resolved. Play began last Friday and will end tomorrow night with the men's championship set to begin at 10 p.m.
Perhaps one of the sports' reasons for popularity is that it doesn't drag out half the year like football, baseball, and basketball do. After a while, enough is enough. There is a thing called overkill.
Other than the State Games of Mississippi, which is for youngsters, this is the only time that stickball is played all year. A nine-day season. That's all. If you blink, it's over.
In women's action, the Natives blanked Conehatta Ohoyo 3-0 Tuesday night for the championship. All three scores came in the first 15-minute quarter and the defenses took over from there.
Dyranda Jimmie, Whitney Wesley, and Glenda Isaac each scored one goal for the Natives.
The Natives beat the Lady Warriors 4-3 in the first round behind three goals from Robin Isaac and eliminated three-time defending champion Ohoyo Bihhi Ayasha 7-1 in the semifinals with Isaac again scoring three times.
In one of the more incredible efforts in the brief history of women's stickball, Cecilia Willis scored 10 goals to lead Conehatta Ohoyo to a 13-1 rout of Bok Cito in one semifinal contest. Six women's teams were in this year's bracket.
In the men's over 35 division, Beaver Dam defeated Tapahsha 3-2 in overtime to win the four-team tournament Tuesday night. Rory Willis scored the game-winning goal in sudden death.
In the semifinals, Beaver Dam slipped past the defending champion South All-Stars 4-3 with Willis scoring a pair of goals.
But clearly the main event of the stickball World Series is the younger men's games. Only four teams were still in the running heading into Thursday night's semifinal between Pearl River and Beaver Dam. Tonight's semifinal finds 20-time champion Conehatta taking on the Warriors.
Ten men's teams began the tournament last week. Conehatta, the two-time defending champion, drilled Unified 12-1 in its first action Wednesday night with a dozen different players each scoring once. The Warriors posted a 20-0 shellacking of Nanih Waiya on Tuesday after easing past Oka Homma 5-4 in the opening round.
Beaver Dam routed Tucker 11-0 in the opening round and sent Bok Cito to the house 6-3 in Monday's quarterfinal matchup with Randell Hickman and Neal Vaughn both scoring twice for the winners.
Pearl River advanced to the semifinals with a 7-1 win over Tiak Hikiya. Seven different players scored for Pearl River.
Old teammates reunite
You never know what or who you'll see at a little kiddie baseball or softball tournament.
A few years ago, former professional golfer Nancy Lopez Knight and husband Ray Knight, an ex-Major League baseball player, were in Meridian for a softball tournament at Northeast Park. While they don't carry that status nationally, former Philadelphia High School teammates Brooks Bryan and Francisco Wilson were on hand for the Dixie Youth District 4 12-year-old tournament in Philadelphia this week.
The two played together on Philadelphia's Class 2A state championship football team in 1992 and 2A state championship basketball team in 1993, which was their senior year. The two also played on the Tornadoes' baseball team.
Wilson, who went on to play basketball at Mississippi College, was a coach for the Westside team.
Bryan, who played baseball at East Central Community College and Mississippi State, umpired Tuesday night's contests.
Burt earns academic honor
David Burt of Newton, a junior at Hannibal-LaGrange College, has been named to the American Midwest College Academic All-Conference team and NAIA Academic All-Region V.
Burt plays on the HLC golf team. He previously played at East Central Community College.

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