Martin has snap for Golden Eagles

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2002

James Martin of Bogue Chitto was a happy Golden Eagle Saturdaynight. He and his Southern Miss teammates had overwhelmed JacksonState 55-7 in the season opener for both schools. A record crowd of35,000-plus had gathered at “The Rock”for the first meeting betweenthe two schools since 1987.

Martin, a senior deep snapper, provided the accurate snaps forUSM’s punts, field goals and extra point kicks. Things went welland the Eagles carried an impressive 34-7 halftime lead into thesparkling new locker room located in the recently completedSouthern Miss Athletic Center.

A 6-foot-2, 213-pound senior, Martin has earned his spurs atUSM. He was pressed into duty last year in the East Carolina gameand responded well under pressure. He has a strong, consistentdelivery. According to the USM media guide, Martin “did anoutstanding job.”

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A junior college veteran, Martin played one year for Coach KenEdenfield at Southwest Mississippi. He started every game as asophomore and didn’t have a kick blocked as the Bears finished 7-3.He walked on at USM in the spring of 2001.

What is Martin’s secret to success?

“It takes a lot of practice,” Martin answered. “You lift weightsto get your arms stronger. It takes a lot of repetition.”

Martin said he is optimistic about the season ahead. “We have areal good chance at winning the conference.” That would mean a bowlgame for the Eagles.

At Bogue Chitto, Martin was a 4-year letterman. He played forCoaches Darryl Brock and Doug Clanton. He also lettered inbasketball and baseball and served as president of the Beta Club.The 22-year-old son of Gary and Kathy Martin is majoring incomputer science.

Another Bogue Chitto product, Domenick Addison, received a roughintroduction to college football as Jackson State’s freshmanpunter. Addison had two of his punts blocked but he averaged 38yards on three others.

“I would have never thought I would be playing somebody elsefrom Bogue Chitto down here,” said Martin. “That was kind ofneat.”

Bobby Bell, a redshirt junior defensive end from JSU, wascredited with two tackles for losses Saturday and one sack of USMquarterback Micky D’Angelo. Bell is from Brookhaven.

Meanwhile, back at The Daily Leader, Professor Hoopla, B.S., wassacked a few times in his fearless football forecast. He predictedthe winners of 19 games and missed 7 high school specials, nearlycausing an outbreak of acne. On the bright side, he was 6-for-6 onthe college level.

Here is Hoopla’s preview of this weekend’s winners, startingwith two Thursday night junior college contests.

Mississippi Delta at Co-Lin: Trojans march impressively throughStone Stadium before boarding their bus for the long drive back tothe flatlands. Miss. Delta 27-10.

Southwest at Coahoma: Bears must endure a marathon ride toClarksdale before taking care of business. Southwest 19-12.

Brookhaven at Vicksburg: Panthers wrestled with a maroonVolkswagen last Friday night. This time they tackle a dark greenPeterbilt. Vicksburg 21-7.

Brookhaven Academy at Centreville Academy: These Tigers arestacked with size, speed and muscle. Centreville. 28-10.

Bogue Chitto at Franklin County: The fur flies in Louie MullinsStadium as Bobcats battle the Bulldogs. Franklin County 27-16.

Enterprise at Loyd Star: The annual Sting Bowl promises to be ahard-fought contest, complete with Deet. Loyd Star 17-8.

West Lincoln at Clarkdale: Bears are looking for a rare victoryon the road. Clarkdale 18-14.

Wesson at North Pike: Another epic struggle takes place in HurstStadium. Jaguars by a whisker. North Pike 24-21.

Lawrence County at West Jones: Cougars have one of the toughestfirst five games in the Magnolia State. West Jones 21-18.

In other area games, Hazlehurst should dump Raymond 27-12,Warren Central should clip McComb 17-14, Copiah Academy shouldshave Hillcrest 21-20, South Pike should trounce Tylertown 27-7 andParklane should dump Oak Forest 28-12.

After draining a Coke, Hoopla looks at Saturday’s collegiatescene.

Memphis at Ole Miss: Rebels get an early wake-up call and takecare of the Tigers. Ole Miss 27-17.

Illinois at Southern Miss: The Heat Factor should make adifference, especially in the sweat-soaked second half at “TheRock.” Southern Miss 20-10.

Jackson State at North Carolina A&T: Tigers must concentrateon defense and their kicking game. Their offense should do well.Jackson State 38-23.

In other collegiate games involving Magnolia State institutionsof higher learning, Grambling State should sink Alcorn State 28-18,Arkansas-Pine Bluff should clip Valley State 18-10, Belhaven shouldedge Louisiana College 19-13 and Mississippi College should shouldstop Millsaps 14-7. Delta State and Mississippi State have opendates to recover from lopsided setbacks.