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Region 6-4A coaches select Ole Brook No. 1

The Ole Brook Panthers have the reputation and the success levelto back it up. Coming off a state championship season in 2004, thePanthers have been picked to successfully defend their Region 6-4Atitle, according to a DAILY LEADER poll of region head footballcoaches.

The Panthers marched to a 14-1 record last season, beatingClarksdale in the state championship game. They are 3-timedefending region champions.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said his team couldn’t reston its laurels. Defending their title will be a challenge.

Peavey said the No. 1 region ranking was appreciated. “I hopeour players take pride in it.

“Obviously, it’s an honor for our program. It represents whatwe’ve done in the past, but I don’t think it has have anything todo with the future games”.

Only one starter returns on offense in wide receiver MontralSmith. Defensively, the Panthers return seven starters in tackleVirgil Sanders, end Bart Sias, linebacker Marlon Dixon, anddefensive backs Anthony Caffie, Jerome Avery, R.J. Jenkins andOrlandas Chapman. Also back is standout place-kicker WillThibodeaux.

” I know there will be a lot of good teams in our district whohave a chance to win it,” said Peavey. “Really and truly, there area bunch of teams who could come out on top.”

There are three new region 6-4A members this season. Mendenhall,Florence and Port Gibson replace South Pike, Wingfield and JimHill. Mendenhall advanced to the 4A state playoffs last year,losing 42-0 to Brookhaven in the opening round.

Terry, led by all-state running back Anthony Dixon, was pickedto finished second in the poll. The Bulldogs, coached by BillFrench, received 1 first place vote and 30 poll points.

McComb was picked third. The Tigers received 24 points.

The Lawrence County Cougars and Mendenhall Tigers tied forfourth with 20 points each. Port Gibson was picked sixth with 11points and Florence last with 6.

“Brookhaven is No. 1 until someone kicks them out,” said McCombfirst-year head coach Randy Martin. “They are the team tobeat.”

Lawrence County head coach Mike Davis agreed, stating,”Brookhaven is still the team to beat.”

Ole Brook kicks off its 2005 campaign Friday night, visiting theFranklin County Bulldogs for a 7:30 kickoff in Meadville.