Toooooooo hot for school, football

Published 5:00 am Friday, August 8, 2008

Yes, my dear. It is too darn hot to be playing football or goingto school. August should be reserved for vacations in the mountainsand visiting those Yankee relatives way up North.

Why are those utility bills so high in the school systems acrossMississippi?

Ever try cooling a classroom full of children on a 90-degreeplus day. That’s also known as Mission Impossible.

My soapbox is famous for challenging the establishment. OK,public schools, lend me your ears.

The Biloxi Public School System recently expressed concernsabout the high cost of air conditioning the classrooms in August.Rightfully so.

Why not start school the Tuesday after Labor Day in Septemberinstead of the first week in August?

Good question. It would be a shade cooler and the humongousAugust electric bill would be absent.

The patented answer. Starting school later would conflict theThanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break vacation schedules. Theymight have to reduce the amount of vacation days reserved forstudents and teachers.

Golly, gee. That would be horrible.

By contrast, many average taxpayers consider themselvesfortunate to get a week or two weeks vacation from their daily jobsonce a year.

Obviously, there would be few tears shed by the general publicif our education system had fewer days for rest and relaxationduring the holidays. We realize that educators annually complainabout their below average pay scale compared to neighboring statesand the reduced benefits.

Welcome to Mississippi. Educators are not alone when it comes tolower pay scales.

Realistically, schools should start later and continue educatingthe students through the first of June. Many schools “up noth”actually don’t close their doors until the middle of June.

Let’s face it, school starts too early.

Which brings up another question.

How in the world did schools ever evolve into the title ofAttendance Centers?

Attendance Center sounds like Detention Center.

“Good morning, Podunk Attendance Center,” chirps the school’sreceptionist when she answers the telephone.

School is supposed to be a pleasant, learning experience. Ofcourse, mandatory attendance is required.

Sounds more like either juvenile detention or alternativecenter.

Retention Center has an academic ring to it. Better yet,Learning Center would qualify as an appropriate title. It soundsbetter, too.

Why not just call a school a school?

Attendance center buses or attendance center teams soundsridiculous. Did you see that new attendance center letterman’sjacket?

“Go! Fight! Win! WLAC!” screams a cheerleader. Sounds like thecall letters for a radio station.

Ugh!

Department of Education administrators, complete with doctoratedegrees, are paid 6-figure salaries to set school budgets, annualschedule, education format and policy in the Magnolia State. Thedrones or citizens are expected to just grin and endure it.

Somewhere, the commoners are complaining.

Returning to football. Mississippi State University’s gridironactivity will draw lots of local interest this season. Five playersfrom this area are Bulldogs bent on improving MSU’s 8-4 worksheetwhich included a Liberty Bowl victory over Central Florida.

The MSU quintet includes defensive tackle Jessie Bowman ofBrookhaven, cornerbacks Jasper O’Quinn of Meadville and DameinAnderson of Hazlehurst, offensive tackle Phillip Freeman of Wessonand linebacker Mike Hunt of Meadville.

The Bulldogs play their first game Aug. 30, at Louisiana Tech inRuston. It will be an ESPN2 telecast.

At Ole Miss, standout defensive end Marcus Tillman of Meadvillewill start his third campaign for the Rebels. Ole Miss hostsMemphis in its season opener.

Some more area stars who are playing college football onSaturdays are Darius Perkins of Brookhaven, a redshirt junior tightend at Northwestern (La.) State University; and Cameron Achord ofBrookhaven (Academy), a redshirt junior safety for BelhavenCollege.

At Western Kentucky, Zach Ray of Brookhaven is a junior redshirtoffensive tackle for the Hilltoppers. At Nicholls State (La.)University, Kentario Hardy of Monticello is a junior defensivetackle.

At West Virginia, D.J. Shaw of Meadville is a junior defensivetackle for the Mountaineers who finished 11-2 last season and beatOklahoma 48-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. Shaw caught West Virginia’s eyewhen he was playing for the Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeWolfpack.

Another former Co-Lin player, defensive end DeAndre Davis ofMeadville, is starting for Newe Mexico. Teammate Glover Quinn ofSummit is working at cornerback.

Two more Franklin County products, cornerback Jonathan Brooksand offensive lineman Emmanuel Mohammad, are playing for Millsapsand Jackson State respectively.

Please let this column know if we have overlooked some localplayer.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com