BHS Panthers climb higher on playoff ladder

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002

The air became a little thinner and the high school footballplayoff scene became much clearer after the latest round of action.Obviously, Brookhaven is for real. The Panthers have improved eachweek and it shows.

Those talented, untested sophomores are no longer inexperienced.They are coming of age. The future looks bright for Brookhaven’sfootball program. Head coach Tucker Peavey and his staff have donean outstanding job bringing a group of young men together andmolding a strong team.

For the Panthers, their future is now, in the third round of theClass 4A state playoffs. They challenge a senior-laden D’Ibervilleteam Friday night at D’Iberville, located just north of Biloxi.

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The Warriors have a strong following and so do the Panthers.Both teams pride themselves on defense. Brookhaven shut outhigh-powered South Pike 2-0 last Friday night in a memorablecontest. Yes, defense made the decisive difference.

Coach Peavey sincerely believes his Panthers can beat any 4Ateam in the state. Their confidence level is high. A cohesivefamily attitude prevails on the practice field and in games. Trustand togetherness are the twin towers of success.

Peavey, 40, a 1980 BHS graduate, was hired in June. Remarkably,he was able to bring together an outstanding group of coaches. RodHenderson, defensive coordinator, and Ryan Ross, offensivecoordinator; are two BHS graduates who were happy to come home. Sowas Eric Stokes. Holdovers Jaymie Palmer and Patrick Hardy wereglad to remain on staff.

No matter what happens Friday night, folks can be mighty proudof what the Panthers have achieved in what was considered a majorrebuilding year. Last Friday night in the field house after themonumental victory, Brookhaven Superintendent of Education Dr. SamBounds commended the coaches and team for what they hadaccomplished.

Yes, it was a big victory for everyone involved. The BHS band,cheerleaders and managers also were a part of the great event. Theymade BHS and the community extremely proud.

Then you had the tear-soaked side of the field. South Pike andits senior-led team was aiming for a return trip to the Class 4Astate championship game. Meanwhile, in the North Mississippi 4Aplayoffs, Lafayette County was dethroning the defending statechampion Clarksdale Wildcats.

On the local scene, Wesson in Class 2A and Hazlehurst in Class3A lost playoff heartbreakers. The Cobras fell to Lumberton 36-32and the Indians bowed to Heidelberg 16-14 in a fourth-quartercomeback. Those were big, painful upsets.

Franklin County in Class 3A and Enterprise in Class 1A alsoexited from the playoffs but the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets stillhave much to be proud of and a season worth remembering.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla, B.S., was trying to remember if hehad eaten lunch or not. Judging from Hoopla’s strong onion breath,he must have dined a the Bowie Smokehouse. He enjoys thecondiments, like dill pickles and sliced onions, which complimentthe delicious barbecue beef/pork sandwiches and side ordersprepared by Tommy King and his staff.

Hoopla dropped off an abbreviated list of fearless footballforecasts before searching for a chocolate desert. Last week hepredicted the winners of 15 games and only got 8 right, alsofeeling the severe upset bite.

Congratulations to Valley State’s Delta Devils for beatingAlabama State in OT. Perhaps Willie Totten has the program headedin the right direction. Overall, it has been a bad to mediocre yearfor almost all the state colleges.

Brookhaven at D’Iberville: It looks like another defensivestruggle but not quite as low scoring. D’Iberville 9-7.

Alcorn State at Jackson State: Braves must have been lookingahead to the annual Soul Bowl when they lost to Alabama A&Mlast Saturday. Jackson State 28-17.

Arkansas at Mississippi State: Razorbacks have visions ofwinning the SEC West Division championship. Arkansas 24-10.

Ole Miss at LSU: Were the Tigers looking ahead when they lost toAlabama or were they looking back to the previous Saturday’smiracle win at Kentucky? Whatever, the Bayou Bengals will be primedfor the Rebels. LSU 32-21.

Southern Miss at Tulane: A shrinking Green Wave is stillsmarting from its loss to previously winless Army. The GoldenEagles are in a foul mood, too, after losing to Louisville in OT.Southern Miss 23-13.