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Wolfpack prepares for Golden Isles Bowl

WESSON — The lights of H.L. “Hook” Stone Stadium beamedbrightly on the playing field. Streaks of light reflected off thesilver football helmets with the wolf head decal.

As 5:30 p.m. approached Tuesday, a team manager blew his whistleand shouted, “Period 19.” Players on offense and defense, dressedin shorts, shoulder pads and either blue or white jerseys, rotatedoff the field, taking a break from practice. It was a light workoutand a light-hearted atmosphere as the Co-Lin Wolfpack continuedpreparations for the Golden Isles Bowl Classic in Brunswick,Ga.

The Co-Lin squad boarded two large charter buses Wednesday nightand departed for the 715-mile journey to southern Georgia. Theywere greeted today with a noon luncheon, sponsored by Glynn Countyand the Sea Island Company. A police escort led the Wolfpack andthe Georgia Military College team to the Jekyll Island ConventionCenter where the meal was served.

After checking in at the Days Inn, the Pack departed at 3:15 forpractice at Brunswick High School.

Tonight they’ll be treated to a cookout at the South DunesPicnic Area. More festivities for the teams and school bands areplanned for Friday. The teams will enjoy a 2-hour ocean cruiseaboard the Emerald Princess before practicing again Fridayafternoon.

A Friday night banquet at Jekyl Island will start at 7 p.m.Players will be introduced individually and be presented with bowlwatches.

On Saturday morning, there will be a parade featuring the Co-Linand GMC bands, plus several high school bands. Co-Lin’scheerleaders also will march in the Christmas parade.

Kickoff is 12:30 p.m.

Co-Lin sophomore defensive tackle Jessie Bowman of Brookhavensaid he was looking forward to the bowl and the festivities. It wasa long way from the 2005 campaign when the Pack finished 1-6 in ahurricane-shortened season.

Bowman, who is being recruited by Ole Miss, Mississippi Stateand Southern Miss, said he saw potential in Co-Lin’s team lastsummer. “I knew we had the potential to be great, especially whenwe were doing the seven-on-seven drills.

“Hats off to our coaching staff for bringing in the rightplayers to make us successful,” said Bowman. “I also want to thankthe people who supported me and the team. They are helping us makethe trip.”

For sure, it will be a great experience for the Co-Lin playersand coaches. They have worked hard to achieve their high level ofsuccess.

Coach Glenn Davis and his Co-Lin staff have spent countlesshours recruiting players. They won two games in two years beforeturning it around this season and going 8-3.

“This bowl is a great reward for our team,” said Davis. “Now wewant to win it, too.”

Professor Hoopla B.S., ain’t nothing but a winner. He predictedthe outcome of 12 games last week and got 11 right. Specialcongratulations to the Copiah Academy Colonels for their stunningupset of Vicksburg Porters Chapel.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s winners, starting with Thursdaynight’s MPSA State championship games at Mississippi College inClinton.

Copiah Academy vs. Grenada Kirk Academy: TheColonels know what is required to win a state championship Theyshould bring the Class AA title back to Gallman tonight. Copiah14-7.

Trinity Episcopal vs. Briarfield (La.): TheNatchez-based Saints chalk up the Class A state title, powered bySteven Ridley. Trinity 32-20.

Puckett vs. East Webster: Look for the speedyWolves to claim the MHSAA Class 1A state title Friday night inMississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. Puckett 29-21.

South Panola vs. Meridian: In a surprisingrematch of last year, the Batesville-based Tigers win the Class 5Atitle and their 60th straight game. South Panola 34-14.

East Marion vs. Calhoun City: Look for theEagles to win it all (Class 2A) for retiring coach Leslie Peters.East Marion 19-9.

Franklin County vs. Nettleton: Bulldogs flextheir muscles on defense and ground the Eagles, winning the 3Atitle. Franklin County 24-14.

Wayne County vs. Clarksdale: War Eagles are ona mission and that means another state championship in Class 4A.Wayne County 30-20.

On the collegiate scene, expect Southern Missto conquer Houston 28-14 Friday night for the Conference USAchampionship; Delta State to beat North Alabama 37-29 Saturday inthe NCAA Division II quarterfinals, Grambling to whip Alcorn State38-19 in a SWAC finale and Florida to dump Arkansas 24-21 in theSEC Championship game.

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