• 61°

Where will the 7-1A basketball tourney be held?

The exact location of this year’s Division 7-1A BasketballTournament remains up in the air. Dexter, located in rural WalthallCounty, was the original site but a petition to the MississippiHigh School Activities Association has changed the location.

Dexter, long recognized for its primitive gymnasium, only hastwo toilets available in the aging, wood-framed building. There isone commode in the girls dressing room and one in the boys dressingroom.

Imagine entering the dressing room at halftime of a game as thecoach begins a fiery sermon. “Uh, excuse me coach. My boy needs touse the bathroom.”

Naturally, a division tournament attracts many followers.Obviously, you can imagine the long, long lines.

Bogue Chitto principal Bobby Allen pointed out the needfor a better facility to the MHSAA. The response was moving thetournament to Salem, another outdated facility located in northernWalthall County. The restrooms are adequate but the old gymnasiumis too small. Try shooting a 3-point goal from the corner of thetight confines of the playing floor and the shooter is out ofbounds.

Naturally, Salem’s gym is not up to standards. The ideallocation for a division tournament is a neutral site. Locationssuch as Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit andTylertown High School have been mentioned as possible alternativesfor the division competition.

Community support is strong in Division 7-1A, especiallyWest Lincoln, Bogue Chitto and Enterprise. The large crowds wouldcertainly cover expenses and upkeep if the division tournament washeld on a neutral floor.

Look for the tournament location to be settled byMonday, Feb. 12. That’s when the division tournamentsbegin.

Looking ahead, the Division 6-2A Tournament will be heldat Hinds AHS in Utica. Loyd Star and Hinds AHS are thefavorites.

The Division 6-3A Tournament will be held at AmiteCounty in Liberty. Division 6-4A will be held atTerry.

Brookhaven Academy’s District 4-AA Tournament tips offJan. 31 and runs through Feb. 2, at Wilkinson County ChristianAcademy in Woodville. Both BA teams are heavyfavorites.

Looking ahead, the MPSA South State AA Tournament willbe hosted by Brookhaven Academy, Feb. 6-10. State AA will be heldat Grenada Kirk, Feb. 13-17. Overall State is Feb. 20-24 atMississippi College in Clinton.

Despite the shivering temperatures, baseball practice isunder way at Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Coach Keith Case’sWolves started working outdoors Monday afternoon as studentsreturned from the holiday break.

Case has just returned from the American Baseball CoachesAssociation convention in Nashville, Tenn. He was recognized asCoach of the Year after leading Co-Lin to a 47-17 record and afourth place finish in the NJCAA Division II World Series.

Case said 4,000 coaches from across the nation attended theclinic/convention which was staged at Opryland. In a preseasonCollegiate Baseball poll, Co-Lin is ranked No. 4 in thenation.

The poll is mainly based on last season’s results. Co-Lin losteight starters to graduation so the rebuilding program is massivethis year.

On the bright side, Co-Lin has a solid pitching staff returning.The Wolves are led by Jacob Blakeney, Josh Garrett, JayFoster, Chuckie Stracener, Doug Atkins and ChrisKennedy.

Co-Lin has one full-time starter returning inrightfielder Brandon Atkins. The infield features sophomore BrittHederman at first base. Hederman replaced Josh McNulty when hebroke a wrist during last year’s playoffs.

No doubt, Co-Lin fans will need a program to identify theplayers. The Wolves make their debut Feb. 13, hosting Shelby Stateof Memphis.

CORRECTION REQUEST: As this column reviewed highlights of the2000 area sports year in Sunday’s paper, Loyd Star’s slow-pitchgirls softball team was overlooked. The Lady Hornets won theDivision 6-2A championship, under the direction of head coachLori Britt. For the record, Wesson won the 1999division title.