BHS senior class provides inspiration to us all

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 6, 2004

Saturday night’s 4-A football state championship victorycelebration brought streams of tears not only to the fans but alsothe players. These were not only of joy but tears of sadness as thereality of the final game for an extraordinary group of young menhad been played. Never again will this special group of kids run onthe field together as a team. From this point on, the 2004 BHSfootball team will be a memory – a very, very good memory.

For the senior players, Saturday night’s game was theculmination of an incredible four-year career for not only thefootball players but also the entire senior class – a class thathas excelled in everything it has done not only in sports but inacademics and personal endeavors.

Think of it. This group of seniors over the past three and ahalf years has been part of producing three state championshipteams (tennis, baseball and football), a state and nationalchampion cheerleading squad, a state champion BHS Science Bowl team(that beat the Mississippi School of Math and Science), anall-superior band – and these are just the top awards!

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Any way you look at it, this is an extraordinary group of kidswho have learned what can be gained from hard work anddedication.

What is it that has brought all of this together? Success likethis does not just happen; it takes effort, it takes motivation andit takes believing in oneself and being willing to go the extramile.

Sum it all up, and this type of success comes only from oneplace – excellent leadership!

That leadership comes from many places: the teachers, thecoaches, the parents and the kids themselves. It also comes from acommunity that also believes in itself and works together asone.

One of the greatest pleasures I have had watching these kidsgrow over the years is the unity they have helped produce in thiscommunity. During the playoff games of both the baseball team thispast summer and the football team this fall, I have seen folks fromacross the county attending the games. They may prefer Lloyd Star,West Lincoln, Bogue Chitto, Enterprise or Brookhaven Academy, butfor a couple of hours they were the Panthers’ biggest supporters.It did not matter if you were black or white, rich or poor, city orcounty residents. All of us were in it together. It is a greatfeeling.

I have written for years that Brookhaven and Lincoln Countytogether is an over-achiever, beating out much larger communitiesin economic development, resulting in better jobs and strongerwages. Oh, sometimes we have gone our separate ways, but when wecome together great things happen for this area, such as thelanding of the Mississippi School of the Arts and the Wal-MartDistribution Center – both huge economic plums.

Having a daughter as part of this senior class makes me a bitprejudiced as well as a bit proud. There will be more excellencecoming out of BHS in the years to come, as will it come to theother public and private schools in the county. Maybe the effortsof these kids will spur others, including us adults, to dig a bitdeeper and reach a bit higher to reach a joint goal. That is not abad thing.

Friday morning, some very wise words were credited to afourteen-year-old who was tragically killed in a plane crash onThanksgiving weekend in Colorado. “The finish line,” Teddy Ebersolwas quoted as saying,”is only the beginning of a whole newrace.”

Saturday night this BHS team crossed a finish line, but oh, havethey just started their next race. Good luck, seniors. You have atremendous future ahead of you. And thanks – thanks for thememories as well as the inspiration.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to