Co-Lin basketball reunion enjoyable

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 4, 2004

“You know, I sure would like to see some of those guysagain.”

My wife, Laurie, smiled when I announced my intentions of makingthe 1974 Co-Lin men’s basketball team reunion. It required someadditional late-night work at the office after covering lastFriday’s Brookhaven-Lawrence County football game, but it was worthit.

There were plenty of familiar faces when I arrived at Room 206on the second floor of the new Dow-Young Building on the Co-Lincampus. Former Co-Lin guard Don Presley had extended the invitationand I was happy to accept.

The 1973-74 Co-Lin basketball team was special. Thirty yearsago, as a fledgling sports writer, Co-Lin coach M.K. Turk hadinvited me to join them on their trip to the regional tournament inCleveland, Tenn. In fact, I got to drive one of the Co-Lin stationwagons on the 10-hour journey.

Presley had been a standout guard on that state and regionchampionship Co-Lin squad before entering the coaching profession.He gave an eloquent testimony to Coach Turk’s positive effect onhis life and career.

Natchez native Sammy West, currently head coach at Alcorn StateUniversity, also praised Turk for his tough discipline and teamconcept. Brookhaven’s Lee Dixon, still looking healthy enough toplay some ball, talked about Turk’s coaching skills. Dixon laterplayed for Hardin-Simmons University and enjoyed a brief NBA careerwith the Philadelphia 76ers.

Robert Jones, a power forward from Natchez, said Turk was afather image for him to follow. Danny Altman, a forward fromMonticello, also praised Turk and his former teammates for theirpositive effect on his life.

Turk and his wife, the former Katrina Cade of Loyd Star, hadloved their younger days at Co-Lin before he moved on to anassistant coaching job at Memphis State. Turk later was hired bySouthern Miss and led the Golden Eagles to their greatestbasketball success.

Lots of laughter echoed through that room as the playersexchanged stories which grew better with age. Presley suggested areunion of all former Co-Lin basketball teams and coaches in thenot too distant future.

Certainly, it would be a fun-filled experience.

Hoopla primed for footbal playoffs

As the football season winds down, Professor Hoopla B.S. ispreparing for the important games. Last week, he predicted thewinners of 26 games and got 17 right. Not much to brag about butthe Jackson State Tigers have won two in a row.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s games, starting with aThursday night special and some Friday night high schoolaction.

West Lincoln at Mize: Bears ring down thecurtain on their campaign by shaking hands with a probable Class 1Astate champion. Mize 42-8.

Mendenhall at Brookhaven: This is the firststate playoff hurdle for the Panthers and it should be a roaringsuccess on King Field. Brookhaven 35-12.

Enterprise at Bogue Chitto: Bobcats want to endtheir rebuilding season on a victorious note. Bogue Chitto28-16.

Lawrence County at Wayne County: Cougars are nomatch for the defending Class 4A state champion War Eagles. WayneCounty 35-7.

In other playoff games, South Pike should beatNortheast Jones 31-12, Hazlehurst should smash Sumrall 42-9,Franklin County should dump Columbia 36-13 and Parklane should sinkMadison-Ridgeland 27-10.

Saturday’s collegiate scene should go like this.

Mississippi State at Alabama: Sylvester Croommakes his long-awaited return to Tuscaloosa but the Crimson Tidedrowns his Bulldogs. Alabama 29-10.

Cincinnati at Southern Miss: Golden Eaglesrealize another C-USA triumph at The Rock. Southern Miss 31-17.

Alabama A&M at Jackson State: Tigersexhaust their supply of miracles. Alabama A&M 21-19.

In other Magnolia State games, Alcorn Stateshould whip Valley 38-19, Delta State should outscoreArkansas-Monticello 42-30, East Texas Baptist should bashMississippi College 43-18, Belhaven should edge Bethel 17-14, andRhodes should maul Millsaps 39-12. Ole Miss has an open date to getready for Arkansas.

In the SEC, expect Tennessee to tame Notre Dame33-13, Georgia to kick Kentucky 42-10, Florida to whip Vanderbilt39-14 and Arkansas to edge South Carolina 21-14. Auburn and LSUhave open dates to plot their holiday bowl options.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com