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Brook, S. Pike 1-2 in Region 6-4A poll

Brookhaven and South Pike have been picked to finish 1-2 inRegion 6-4A in a DAILY LEADER poll of division head footballcoaches. The Panthers and Eagles both garnered 33 poll points butBrookhaven held a 4-3 edge in first place votes.

Last year Brookhaven posted a 7-5 record, advancing to the thirdround of the 4A state playoffs. In the second round of the stateplayoffs, the Panthers upset region champion South Pike 2-0 in anepic defensive struggle on King Field.

Brookhaven head coach Tucker Peavey said he appreciated therecognition but he was more concerned with making the stateplayoffs. “I hope it’s (ranking) that way about three months fromnow. Every season is a new season. The only thing you can do isbuild on what you did last year.”

Jim Hill and Wingfield of Jackson have joined the new regionalignment, replacing Port Gibson and Raymond. Jim Hill made thestate playoffs last year and was picked to finish fourth, justbehind McComb, in the region poll.

“The region will be tougher this year,” said Peavey. “There’s agood bit of balance.”

Peavey’s Panthers are led by junior quarterback Jimmy Johns, TheDAILY LEADER’s Player of the Year on the 2002 All-Lincoln CountyTeam. Brookhaven returns its entire offensive line in center GrantMcDonnieal, guards Kenneth Fairman and Adam Ogden, tackle TylerGatlin and tight end Michael Thrasher. They also return standoutrunning back Darius Perkins and all-region receiver BudChatman.

On defense, the Panthers are led by two All-Region players intackle Jessie Bowman and end Phillip Tobias. Linebacker JasonDixon, end Julius Brown, strong safety Tyrone Jones and free safetyJarvis Wilson return to starting positions.

South Pike, under the direction of new head coach RandallHuffman, returns a large flock of starters and skill players onoffense. The Eagles were 10-2 last season, losing to Warren Centraland Brookhaven.

McComb’s Tigers, coached by Ted Milton, were runners-up to SouthPike in last year’s region race and received 23 poll points. Theyfinished 8-3, losing to Gautier in the first round of theplayoffs.

The Hill Tigers, coached by Daryl Jones, finished 9-2 lastseason. They received 22 poll points. The Tigers are led byall-star quarterback Tony Hobson and standout receiver JeffreyMoore.

Lawrence County’s Cougars received 18 poll points and werepicked to finish fifth. They are coached by Trent Hammond and ledby quarterback Casey Williams. The Cougars finished fourth in theregion last year and posted a 4-7 record.

Terry, coached by Jackie Williamson, expects to be an improvedteam in his second year at the helm. The Bulldogs were 1-10 lastseason.

Wingfield, coached by Chuck Foley, finished 1-9 last year. TheFalcons are anticipating an improved campaign.

“Jim Hill had a heckuva ball team last year,” said CoachHuffman. “Our whole district becomes stronger because of them.”

Brinson Wall, son of retired South Pike head coach Greg Wall, isthe team’s offensive coordinator. Jerry Jones is the Eagles’defensive coordinator.