Crazy year leads to state playoffs

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2005

To put it mildly, 2005 has been a crazy year for high schoolfootball and sports in general. Dealing with two hurricanes in twomonths is a mind-boggling experience. Imagine trying to reshape anathletic schedule around open dates, homecomings, and the requireddistrict games.

Next up are the state football playoffs, delayed one week byHurricanes Katrina and Rita. Imagine playing two football games infour sweat-soaked days of late September. The Ole Brook Pantherswere in that number, beating McComb on Monday night and travelingto Mendenhall on Friday night for a region setback.

Now for the playoffs. State championships will be determined aweek later than last year but that won’t matter much, unless you’rea basketball coach who is impatiently awaiting the arrival of sometalented roundballer who also stars on the gridiron.

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To say the least, hurricanes made sports scheduling difficult atbest. Take Co-Lin for example. The Wolfpack won their belatedseason opener on the road at Northwest in Senatobia after theseason had been pushed back three weeks from Sept. 3 to Sept.22.

Co-Lin had high hopes of improving on last year’s 1-8 worksheet.Two canceled games this year helped the Wolfpack finish 1-6.

To their credit, the Co-Lin coaching staff had assembled a moretalented group of players than last year. Unfortunately, winscontinue to be elusive.

If it’s much consolation, Co-Lin looked better losing this yearthan last. Most of the games were close.

You’ve probably heard the old coach proclaiming, “I’d rather belucky than good.”

In Co-Lin’s case, the Wolves were pretty good but very unlucky.Coach Glenn Davis watched his team lose three games by a touchdownor less. The Wolfpack actually led archrival Southwest at halftimebefore losing 36-19.

It’s been six years since Co-Lin last enjoyed a winning seasonon the gridiron. If you are keeping count, the Wolves haven’t won aSouth Division title since 1990.

Do you remember Co-Lin’s state championship season of 1985 whenthe Wolves also won the East Bowl, defeating Nassau County (N.Y.)on a late November Saturday afternoon in Stone Stadium?

Golly, gee. I miss those days.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla B.S., remembers the days when he didshampoo commercials. Now he wears a cap.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 26 games last week and got 20correct. His latest list of predictions smelled like doe scent.Must be close to deer season.

Brookhaven at Picayune: Panthers play one oftheir better games on the road and bring home a playoff victory.Brookhaven 22-13.

Bogue Chitto at Enterprise: This Lincoln Countyfeud will determine which team goes to the state playoffs.Enterprise 27-19.

Gulfport St. John at West Lincoln: Well,there’s always next year for the winless Bears. St. John 39-6.

Wesson at Lumberton: Cobras shake hands withthe powerful defending Class 2A state champion Panthers. Lumberton38-8.

Forest at Franklin County: Bulldogs play strongdefense and score just enough to beat the Bearcats in Meadville.Franklin County 14-10.

Natchez Trinity at Copiah Academy: Colonelsclick on offense and defense. Copiah 21-7.

Raleigh at Hazlehurst: Coach Willie Brown’sIndians remain undefeated with a first round Class 3A state playoffwin. Hazlehurst 46-6.

In other area games, South Pike over NewtonCounty 38-12, Magee over Jefferson County 37-14 and Long Beach overMcComb 21-20.

Arkansas at Ole Miss: Razorbacks escape Oxfordwith a narrow victory. Arkansas 14-6.

Southern Miss at Houston: Golden Eagles enjoy aSunday afternoon triumph. Southern Miss 28-14.

Other Magnolia State action should see Jackson State overPrairie View A&M 22-20, Alabama A&M over Alcorn State28-22, Alabama State over Valley State 38-18, Cumberland overBelhaven 13-7, Trinity over Millsaps 20-10 and Howard Payne overMississippi College 31-17. Mississippi State has an open date tocontemplate the future.

In the SEC, Alabama over LSU 13-7, Auburn overGeorgia 26-14, Vanderbilt over Kentucky 30-19, Florida over SouthCarolina 28-17, and Tennessee over Memphis 23-13.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o. The DAILY LEADER,P.O. BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602, or