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Redd anxious to kick off gridiron year at Delta St.

The exhausting grind of twice-daily practices began Monday forKelvin Redd and the Delta State UniversityStatesmen. For Redd, a junior defensive end from Brookhaven, theseason can’t get here fast enough.

“I think we’ll have a real good year,” said Redd, during aTuesday telephone interview. “The defense is loaded. Our offensecame a long way in the spring.”

Redd (6-5, 260) and his teammates are anticipating a bigturnaround after stumbling to a 4-7 record last year underfirst-year head coach Rick Rhoades. The Statesmen won the NCAADivision II national championship in 2000, when Redd was aredshirt, working on the scout team.

This season Redd will be wearing jersey No. 98. He said that wasa reversal of his old high school number, 86. Last year he wore No.77 and was the fourth leading tackler on DSU’s defense. He had atotal of 49 tackles, 33 of them unassisted, plus 5 pass breakupsand 3 1/2 tackles for a loss.

He had spent some time at defensive tackle as a redshirtfreshman. “I like defensive end best. There’s more running. Youhave to be an athlete. You can push people around in the openfield.”

A former BHS Panther standout, Redd said some of hisresponsibilities include the pass rush. “I also have to take careof outside containment.”

According to Delta State defensive coordinator SeanCannon, Redd’s best position is end. “Kelvin is a realgood athlete. He can move around well. Nobody has ever beaten himon a reverse because he’s so smart.”

Besides intelligence and athleticism, Redd has a work ethicsecond to none. “Nobody outworks Kelvin in the weight room,” saidCannon. “He practices on the field just like it is a ballgame. Hehas been in the fire.”

Redd enjoys campus life at Delta State as he prepares for acareer in coaching. His major is physical education.

“I’d like to coach at Brookhaven and I would want to be the ‘D’coordinator,” said Redd. He is the son of ShirleyRedd. His father, the late Keith Redd,was a star basketball player at BHS in the early 1970s whenBobby West was coaching the Panthers.

Asked about cafeteria food on campus, Redd said he made the bestof it. What he really misses is Bob’s Sandwich Shop, located behindFirst Baptist Church in Brookhaven. “I love the steak po-boys.”

Redd recommends Delta State for all aspiring athletes who wantto play college football. “It’s a great place to go to school.”

Redd has some teammates from this area. They are sophomorerunning back Jason Snell of Lawrence County andsenior linebacker Scotty Cline of Hazlehurst(Copiah Academy).

Naturally, the Statesmen want to win the Gulf South Conferencechampionship and advance to the playoffs. Their fans are accustomedto winning big.

Looking ahead to the Division II playoffs, Redd said, “Tell thepeople to look for us on ESPN2 when we play in the nationalchampionship game.”

Cyclist Frank Moak of Brookhaven made a strongshowing in the USCF National Masters Championships in Louisville,Ky. He was 15th in the road race and 33rd in the criterium forracers age 40-45.

Moak was hoping for a top 10 finish in Saturday’s road race. Heentered the Wednesday criterium with the idea of scouting theopposition and checking out his toughest competition.

The start of the criterium was greeted with a downpour, the onlytime it rained during the week. The slick streets made racinghazardous. There was a 20-rider crash which Moak luckilyavoided.

Oily film from the city streets coated the riders and madevisibility difficult. The 40-45 division still ran a faster timethan the younger group.

On Saturday, the day was dry as Radisa Cubricwon the road race with a time of 2:16:16. Moak posted a 2:17:40,just 1:24 behind the winner. The 4-mile course featured 16 turnsand several steep hills.

“I felt like I could have placed in the top five,” said Moak. “Ihave mixed emotions about it.”

Herring Gas teammate Gary Zyrick of Memphis wassixth in the age 35-39 division. Another Magnolia Stater,Rich Raspat of Oxford (age 50-59), was third inthe time trial, second in the criterium and No. 1 in the roadrace.

Moak said he plans to continue his strict training regimen andaim for next year’s nationals. The next test for Herring Gas is theMississippi District Time Trials, set for Natchez on Aug. 23.