Katrina’s wrath boggles the mind

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

Reading about Hurricane Katrina, looking at the devastationcaused by the horrific storm, seeing the loss of life and intensesuffering people are going through boggles my mind. Football,softball and other sports events seem insignificant in comparisonto this tragedy.

Certainly, the Mississippi High School Activities Associationmade the right decision by postponing Friday’s games. According toDr. Ennis Proctor, MHSAA executive director, the entire, statewideschedule is being pushed back one week.

That means the games of Sept. 2 will be played Sept. 9.Originally, some coaches thought this Friday’s games would beeither canceled completely or played at the end of the season.

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Dr. Proctor called yours truly Wednesday afternoon by cellphone. Yes, it was hot in Clinton, too. His home didn’t haveelectricity and the regular phone system was out of order.

Proctor inquired about the conditions in Brookhaven. Yes, therewas a lot of damage to homes, businesses and utility services.Fortunately, his home and our home escaped the uprooted or brokentrees which fell like dominoes Monday afternoon.

We shared concerns for the folks on the Gulf Coast and in NewOrleans. Tragedy certainly changes personal perspective.

Football, no matter how passionate, pales in comparison to stormdamage, injury, and loss of life.

In other sports, there will be many girls softball gamesrescheduled over the next month. Region or district games will ratepriority.

Fascinating to watch hurricane power

From a personal point of view, watching Katrina in action was aunique experience. Our carport faces the southeast but thehurricane’s winds were blowing out of the northwest most of theafternoon.

The carport served as a buffer from the rain and gusting wind. Iactually pulled a rocking chair onto the carport and positioned itbetween the family car and truck for more protection. It was afront row seat for a surreal experience.

It was remarkable watching those towering pine trees sway in thewind. It was surprising how far they could bend before snappinglike match sticks.

Hardwood trees absorbed most of the impact from the howlingwind. Our lawn looks like a green carpet knitted together withleaves and pine needles. There are enough sticks, broken branchesto pick up and trees to cut to keep me busy for months.

Speeg playing for Murray St. Racers

The college games, at least most of them, will go on this LaborDay weekend. In Starkville, Mississippi State University fans willgather to watch the Bulldogs play Murray State (Ky.) Saturdaynight.

Murray State, nicknamed Racers, will have a local connection insenior defensive end Adam Speeg of Brookhaven(Loyd Star). Speeg is among 14 seniors on the roster. He’s also oneof 16 players from Mississippi on the squad. Speeg starred forCopiah-Lincoln Community College before signing with MurrayState.

Hoopla provides weekend update

Professor Hoopla B.S., volunteered to pick this weekend’swinners. Last week he picked the winners of 9 games and got 8correct. Look who’s winning this weekend.

Murray State at Mississippi State: There’s ashortage of gasoline in Starkville, so fans should fill their tanksand carry some extra petrol before making the long drive. TheBulldogs have plenty of offense to outrun the Racers. State28-10.

Ole Miss at Memphis: This is a Labor Dayspecial as the Tigers author an ambush in Liberty Bowl MemorialStadium. Memphis 17-7.

Hampton vs. Jackson State: Detroit hosts thisseason opener as the Tigers try to climb out of the SWAC cellar.Hampton 19-10.

Grambling at Alcorn State: An important SWACshootout takes place in Lorman. Grambling 31-21.

Delta State at Texas State: Fresh from an upsetwin over the Pittsburg State Gorillas, the Statesmen climb to 2-0on the season in San Marcos. Delta State 28-14.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Valley State: In aChicago showdown, the Golden Lions feast on the Delta Devils. PineBluff 42-19.

Postponed: The Mississippi College-Belhavengame has been postponed until Nov. 19 and becomes the season finalefor both schools. The Millsaps-Huntingdon game at Montgomery, Ala.,has been postponed until Oct. 1. The LSU-North Texas game has beencanceled.

In other SEC openers, Alabama should whipMiddle Tennessee State 38-10, Arkansas should beat SouthwestMissouri State 28-7, Auburn should dump Georgia Tech 24-7, Floridashould flog Wyoming 39-17, Georgia should bag Boise State 32-7,Tennessee should sack UAB 29-3, and Louisville should dump Kentucky23-12. In two Thursday night specials, South Carolina should crushCentral Florida 52-10 and Vanderbilt should squeak past Wake Forest17-14.

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