Big day for four standout athletes

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, Nov. 14, will be remembered as a day of athleticmilestones for Brookhaven and Wesson. Four standout athletes signedscholarships to play ball at the NCAA Division I level.

Brookhaven southpaw pitcher Paxton King signed with theUniversity of Southern Mississippi. Senior classmates Swayze Blackand Nikki Byrd signed basketball scholarships with LSU and Ole Missrespectively. Wesson’s Perry Katherine Furr signed a golfscholarship with Mississippi State.

Does it get any better than that?

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You may hearken back to that day in early February of 2005. OleBrook had 11 football players off the 2004 state championship teamsign scholarships. However, only two of them, Jimmy Johns (Alabama)and Jesse Bowman (Mississippi State), signed NCAA Division Ipacts.

For sure, the latest group of signees have unlimited futures aheadof them. They all are bright students who have excelled in theclass room as well as on the athletic field.

King, The DAILY LEADER’s Mr. Baseball on the 2007 All-LincolnCounty Team, should be a bonus to the Southern Miss program.Recognized for his pinpoint accuracy around the plate, Kingcontinues working hard to become faster and stronger.

Black, at 6-foot-2, is an all-around athlete. Besides being a forcein the paint, she can step outside and hit the 3-pointer. She alsohandles and passes the ball quite well.

Black is joining a national championship-caliber program at LSU.New head coach Van Chancellor should keep the Lady Tigers in theTop Ten.

Byrd, pushing 6-3, is projected as a post player for the LadyRebels. New Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner is pleased to have Byrdjoin her squad.

Furr, a dedicated golfer and all-around athlete, is the firstWesson female to sign a Southeastern Conference scholarship. Shealso is the first athlete since Mark A. Smith signed a footballpact with Ole Miss in 1991. Furr joins a top-notch program at MSUwhich is recognized internationally for its Professional GolfAssociation and golf course management curriculum.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla B.S., was seriously considering acareer cleaning out horse stalls after his latest prognosticatingperformance. In a debacle comparing favorably to a frontier ambush,Hoopla boldly predicted the winners of 21 games and only got 11right.

Area high school playoff teams took a beating last Friday night. Attimes it got ugly. On the other hand, the old coach’s sermon aboutspecial teams and the critical importance of the kicking game hithome in several contests which were decided by extra points.

Some veteran punters and kickers should start a kicking school nextsummer. Better yet, start it in the spring. Coaches should make itmandatory attendance for all aspiring punters and placekickers.

There are a few area teams left in the state playoffs so Hooplawill provide a Friday night prediction.

Bogue Chitto at Durant: Bobcats face a long rideand a tough Class 1A opponent in the hard-hitting Tigers. Durant34-21.

Lawrence County at Picayune: Cougars continuetheir winning ways as they visit the Maroon Tide. Lawrence County24-14.

Morton at Franklin County: Shapes up as a tightbattle in Meadville. Franklin County 19-10.

Copiah Academy at Centreville Academy: This is abig hurdle for the Colonels who are trying to defend their Class AAstate title. Copiah Academy 17-14.

Mississippi State at Arkansas: Fresh from theiramazing win over Alabama, the Bulldogs find trouble inFayetteville. Arkansas 23-10.

LSU at Ole Miss: Rebels had an extra week toprepare for the No. 1-ranked Tigers. They’ll need it. LSU42-16.

Alcorn State at Jackson State: Tigers have plentyof revenge on their minds while the Braves try to salvage amiserable season. Jackson State 19-10.

Southern Miss at UTEP: Out in the west Texas town of ElPaso, the Golden Eagles try to polish a disappointing campaign.Southern Miss 28-10.

Valley State at Savannah State: Delta Devils finda road victory in Georgia. Valley State 18-8.

Shaw at Delta State: Statesmen clear their firsthurdle in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Delta State 28-18.

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