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Miss. Sports Hall of Fame opens doors for inductees

Once again the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will open itsdoors to a group of outstanding athletes. A 4 p.m.,Thursdayafternoon media conference will be held at the Mississippi SportsMuseum, located just off I-55 on west Lakeland Drive. The 2002inductees will be announced at that time and a brief reception willfollow.

It’s a great honor to be selected and Brookhaven/Lincoln Countycan claim three Hall of Fame members. The most recent inducteesfrom here were the late Harol Lofton, an Ole Miss running back; andJimmie McDowell, who is still going strong at his Jackson residenceas executive director of the All-American Football Foundation andHall of Fame.

Several years ago Brookhaven product Lance Alworth was inductedinto the Hall of Fame. An All-Pro wide receiver with the San DiegoChargers and Dallas Cowboys. Alworth already was a member of thePro Football Hall of Fame at the time. He resides in San Diego butstill maintains some contact with local folks.

What happened to the summer?

It’s still hot but school is back in session. Football playersand coaches are laboring through the heat and humidity as preseasonpractice gets under way. Most of the teams will debut Aug. 31.

In Lincoln County, Brookhaven will visit Hazlehurst, Enterprisewill visit McLaurin, Bogue Chitto will host Stringer, Loyd Starwill host Bay Springs, West Lincoln is at St. Joseph in Madison andBrookhaven Academy will host Copiah Academy. In other area action,Wesson visits Salem, Lawrence County invades Collins , FranklinCounty hosts Vidalia, La. and North Pike hosts South Pike in afirst-ever meeting.

North Pike coach Adam Barron welcomes the opportunity to playSouth Pike, the preseason pick in Region 6-4A. Barron wants to beefup the Jaguars’ schedule and make them more competitive in Class3A. Besides, Hurst Stadium on the Southwest Mississippi CommunityCollege campus, will draw a large crowd for the cross-countyrivalry. Athletic departments need money to make ends meet.

Speaking of making ends meet, Loyd Star head football coachAnthony Hart proposed playing Brookhaven last spring. Greg Wall,former BHS athletic director and head coach, also liked the ideabut Hazlehurst already had signed a 2-year contract with thePanthers for the season-opening date.

Certainly, the game would draw a huge crowd to King Field andthe schools could split the gate receipts. Curious folks would beeager to see a Hornets-Panthers showdown on the gridiron. When youconsider Class 4A Brookhaven playing Class 2A Loyd Star infootball, it immediately seems like a mismatch.

Loyd Star has produced some outstanding teams in recent yearsand playing a tough opponent only makes a team stronger when thestate playoffs arrive. Many Class 2A schools tackle Class 4A andeven 5A opponents during the regular season. Philadelphia, a Class2A school, annually plays Class 4A rival Neshoba Central on thegridiron. It’s a great matchup and Philadelphia wins its share ofthe showdowns.

The King’s Daughters Medical Center Sports Medicine and TherapyCoaches Clinic drew a large crowd to the Thames Center on theCopiah-Lincoln Community College campus. Coaches from Brookhaven,Brookhaven Academy, Enterprise, Bogue Chitto, Loyd Star, WestLincoln, Wesson, Jackson Prep and Alexander Junior Highattended.

A variety of informative talks were provided by physicians,sports trainers and college coaches. KDMC’s Brad Martin served asclinic director.

Kim Bridge, KDMC R.N. gave a demonstration of the AutomatedExternal Defibrillation unit. The portable machine, about the sizeof a laptop computer, provides shock treatment for a victim incardiac arrest. All coaches should know how to administer CPR. TheAED is the next step and it can bring a heart’s rhythm undercontrol.

Bridge said the AED unit costs $3000 and it’s worth every pennyif it saves just one life. Every athletic department needs one andit requires a 4-hour training class.

For that matter, many rural schools and churches could use oneof these units in the event of a medical emergency. The time factoris critical when a person’s heart is fluttering and about to stopfunctioning.