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Four area teams boast 4-0 marks

Approaching the midway point of the 2008 high school footballseason, reality has set in. For the unbeaten teams, reality feelswonderful. For the winless or almost winless teams, reality is likebeing hit by a powerful 200-pound linebacker. It takes the breathout of you and it really hurts the day after, too.

By contrast, the unbeaten teams have a smile on their collectivefaces. Breakfast tastes better and the teachers even like you morethan expected. Coaches savor that first cup of coffee and greeteveryone with a cheerful “Good morning.”

Life is good for several area teams who are unbeaten in fourgames. They include Bogue Chitto, Wesson, Franklin County andParklane Academy. Football tradition runs deep and success buildsupon success.

Coaches know the value of directing a successful team. There arefewer nit-picky calls to argue about with the officials. Playerswho are hobbling on an injured ankle or leg are still anxious toplay.

Bumps and bruises are ignored. “Aw, come on, coach. Please letme play. My shoulder doesn’t hurt that much.”

Such are the joys of being unbeaten. Folks jump on thebandwagon. Friday nights are lots of fun.

For sure, the games get tougher as the season rolls along. CoachBo Milton’s Pioneers invade Jackson Prep for a real Class AAAchallenge. Coach Trent Hammond’s Franklin County Bulldogs host astrong Tylertown team in Class 3A action. Coach Tommy Clopton’sWesson Cobras entertain Enterprise for a Class 2A contest and CoachGareth Sartin’s Bogue Chitto Bobcats are on the road, tacklingNatchez Cathedral in a Class 1A test at D’Evereaux Stadium.

Meanwhile, Professor Hoopla B.S., will try his best to foretellthis weekend’s winners. He predicted the outcome of 23 games lastweek and got 18 right.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s menu, starting with aThursday night community college special and a SWAC showdown.

Coahoma at Co-Lin: Undefeated Tigers are ripe for an upset inStone Stadium. Co-Lin 17-14.

Valley State at Alabama State: Willie Totten needs to pick upsome immediate help to rescue the Delta Devils. Unfortunately,national signing date isn’t until February. Alabama State 38-9.

Mendenhall at Brookhaven: Tigers are well known for their stableof talented athletes. However, they have forgot how to win.Brookhaven 24-14.

Brookhaven Academy at Simpson Academy: In a District 4-AAshowdown of Cougar teams, Simpson possesses too much speed anddepth. Simpson 21-12.

Bogue Chitto at Natchez Cathedral: Bobcats must be at the top oftheir game to remain unbeaten. Bogue Chitto 26-20.

Enterprise at Wesson: Fighting Yellow Jackets get their firsttaste of Region 6-2A competition and they get a jolt of venom fromthe unbeaten Cobras. Wesson 34-8.

Loyd Star at Hinds AHS: Wardawgs are in a rebuilding year butthey should have enough bite to handle the Hornets. Hinds AHS29-19.

West Lincoln at Stringer: Bears have battled some of the topteams in Region 4-1A the last two weeks and it won’t get any easierin Jasper County Friday night. Stringer 35-10.

Tylertown at Franklin County: Undefeated Bulldogs can’t overlookthe Chiefs in Louie Mullins Stadium. Franklin County 28-12.

McComb at Lawrence County: This looms as the best game in thearea Friday night. Lawrence County 38-28.

In other area action, Copiah Academy should enjoy a homecomingfeat in Gallman, whipping Wayne Academy 37-13; North Pike shouldslip past Amite County 22-14, Jackson Prep should hand Parklane itsfirst setback, 27-14; South Pike should stop Jefferson County30-20; Hazlehurst should swamp Raymond 39-6, and Collins shouldbeat Crystal Springs 29-16.

Saturday’s menu begins with a community college contest.

Southwest at East Central: Bears are hungry for a victory butthey won’t find it in Decatur. East Central12-9

Mississippi State at LSU: Bayou Bengals should win a yawner inDeath Valley. LSU 42-9.

Ole Miss at Florida: Yipes! Quarterback Tim Tebow and the Gatorshand the Rebels another nutty defeat. Florida 45-21.

In other Magnolia State action, Southern University over AlcornState 38-8, Delta State over Ouachita Baptist 31-10, Millsaps overRhodes 21-7, Hardin-Simmons over Mississippi College 38-19, andBelhaven over Bethel 24-20. Jackson State and Southern Miss haveopen dates to work on defense.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O. BOX551, Brookhaven, MS 396022 or e-mail sports@dailyleader.com