How do you deal with the weather?

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 4, 2008

Shaking an angry fist at Hurricane Gustav and rememberingKatrina’s frightful march through Mississippi.

It is strange how the average works of nature overpower man. Fortwo months during the summer, yours truly prayed to God above forrain. The lawn and pasture were drying up in June, July and earlyAugust. That expensive Texas Tough Byhalia seed has been plantedlate but we kept our fingers crossed.

It was so dry, our horses nibbled on dry dirt and kicked up dustwith every step. Horse feed, water and hay kept them from goingdown during the drought. Then it began to rain and rain and rainsome more.

During our recent preseason football pilgrimage, three areaschools, Hazlehurst, Enterprise and Co-Lin; had to have theirteam/group photos taken inside the gymnasium or at least undercover due to rain. Go figure.

The late August rainfall was just the tip of the sprinklersystem. Gustav huffed and puffed and deposited over 12 inches ofrain in four days before departing. Football fields became lakes,more suitable for fishing than playing ball.

Some coaches, like Coach Glenn Davis of Co-Lin, tried topractice in the gymnasium as the Wolfpack prepared for a Thursdayroad game. Breakdowns in Co-Lin’s kicking game had helped EastMississippi Community College beat the Wolves last week.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to practice kickoff and puntcoverage in the cozy confines of Mullen Gymnasium. Davis planned tosplash around on the practice field Wednesday afternoon and givehis players some semblance of pregame preparation.

Some area high school coaches were unable to reach their playersbecause of power outages. Schools were closed and practices werecanceled. Telephones were dead and cell phones must be rechargedwith electricity.

Monday’s power outages sent Lincoln County residents scramblingto purchase generators. Neighbors fortunate enough to keep theirelectrical power, suddenly became dear friends. Yes, they would behappy to make room in their deep freezers for ourprecious/expensive frozen meats and ice cream.

Roads were washed out, large trees fell on houses and folkstried sleeping at night with the windows open. Monday nightfeatured some ferocious wind gusts.

I awoke about 2:30 a.m. Much to my surprise, the wind waswhistling through the window screen and blowing rain directly in myface. It was pitch black outside due to the power outage but Icould hear trees falling.

A gigantic tulip poplar fell on an old home place located acrossthe highway from our residence. It was a beautiful tree, probably80 years old. My wife Laurie’s mother, Alta Fauver, had plantedthat poplar many years ago.

Unfortunately, trees don’t last forever and neither do our humanbodies.

When last seen, Professor Hoopla B.S. was wearing his joggingoutfit. He left behind a sweat-soaked list of predictions for thisweekend’s games, starting with a pair of Thursday night communitycollege specials.

He predicted the winners of 21 games last week and posted amiserable 14-7-0 worksheet. Here’s a preview of this weekend’swinners, starting with a Thursday night, community collegespecial.

Co-Lin at Mississippi Delta: In search of more offense, plustheir first win of the season, the Wolfpack will find neither inmuddy Moorhead tonight. MS Delta 21-14.

Coahoma at Southwest: This non-division home game has beencanceled, thanks to Hurricane Gustav.

Brookhaven Academy at Copiah Academy: It will be muddy inGallman Friday night but that shouldn’t keep the Cougars fromwinning their second game of the season. Brookhaven Academy14-8.

Bogue Chitto at Pelahatchie: It looks like another offensiveshow as the Bobcats win a squeaker. Bogue Chitto 32-30.

Loyd Star at Purvis: Hornets encounter a menacing 11 tornadosoutside of Hattiesburg Friday night. Purvis 34-24.

Pisgah at West Lincoln: Bears have the potential to end their16-game losing streak. West Lincoln 21-20.

Lawrence County at North Pike: Cougars bounce back from anambush and whip the Jaguars. Lawrence County 42-13.

Franklin County at McComb: Bulldogs collide with a strongerdefense in C.C. Moore Stadium. Franklin County 28-21.

Richton at Enterprise: Fighting Yellow Jackets moved this gameto Saturday at 5 p.m. and notch a win over the Rebels. Enterprise25-16.

In other area games, Hazlehurst should shave Tylertown 26-21,Parklane should sack East Rankin 30-13 and Crystal Springs shouldslip past Hinds AHS 19-16.

Ole Miss at Wake Forest: Wild Rebels cause problems for theDemon Deacons Saturday. Ole Miss 31-21.

Southeastern Louisiana at Mississippi State: After adisappointing debut, the Bulldogs take out their frustrations inDavis Wade Stadium. State 48-20.

Southern Miss at Auburn: Golden Eagles encounter an SEC titlecontender. Auburn 28-17.

In other Magnolia State action, Jackson State over Stillman32-14, Grambling over Alcorn State 38-18, Delta State over McNeeseState 19-14, Belhaven over Concordia 28-20 and Mississippi Collegeover Millsaps 38-30.

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