Best BHS basketball team in 50th reunion

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

Turn back the pages of time and savor the memories. BrookhavenHigh School alumni gather this weekend for a homecoming celebrationand members of the greatest boys basketball team are expected to bein attendance.

Celebrating their 50th BHS class reunion is the basketball teamfrom the 1958-59 season. To put it mildly, they were an outstandinggroup of athletes.

For the record, the team managers were Randy Owens and DonaldBoone. Players included Chuck Minor, Hilton Ball, Dicky Morgan,Jerry Nevels, Mel Edmonds, El Edmonds, Bobby Shows, Nelson Anding,Charles Sears and Richard Rogers.

Coached by James Sinclair, the Panthers enjoyed the mostsuccessful season in BHS history. They compiled a record of 41 winsand 2 losses on their way to winning the Big Eight Conference andSouth Mississippi championships. In the A-AA state tournament, theywere upset by Philadelphia in a narrow 93-91 defeat.

Twin guards Mel and El Edmonds signed scholarships with OleMiss. Shows signed with Mississippi State, giving BHS three SECsignees on one team.

Sandra and Mel Edmonds are hosting a lunch/reunion for thebasketball team Saturday morning at their residence on Pine Drive.They are looking forward to sharing memories with Coach Sinclairwho still is an avid sports fan. The BHS gymnasium is named in hishonor.

It was a great period in BHS athletics. A year earlier, BHSgrads Lance Alworth and Ralph “Catfish” Smith signed big-timefootball scholarships. Alworth went to Arkansas and Smith to OleMiss. Both later starred in the NFL and the old AFL.

“We had a great track season, too,” recalled Mel Edmonds. “Webeat Murrah for the state championship.” The late R.L. Therrellcoached the track team.

Coincidently, the Edmonds Twins and Shows moved to Brookhavenfor their senior year. Edmonds and his family migrated here fromAriton, Ala., located near Ozark and Dothan. Shows moved from MarsHill, in northern Amite County. Shows and the Edmonds later playedagainst each other in SEC action.

Meanwhile Professor Hoopla B.S., was busy pulling up those ForSale signs secretly placed in his front yard after midnight. Somefolks become seriously aggravated by his weekly footballpredictions.

Hoopla predicted the winners of 24 games last week and got 18correct. Here’s his forecast for this weekend, starting with aclassic Thursday night special.

Loyd Star at Wesson: In a battle of undefeated, 6-0 teams, theHornets end a 5-year losing streak to the Cobras. Loyd Star17-14.

Pearl River Central at Brookhaven: Hunting a homecoming victory,the Panthers get their act together on King Field. Brookhaven26-14.

Brookhaven Academy at Natchez Trinity: Games in the River Cityoften take unexpected turns. Cougars remain unbeaten in eightgames. Brookhaven Academy 29-19.

Bogue Chitto at Sebastopol: It’s a long drive for BC’s Bobcatsbut the trip is successful as they remain unbeaten in the regionrace. Bogue Chitto 19-12.

Enterprise at Hinds AHS: The Wardawgs give the Fighting YellowJackets a rude welcome to Utica. Hinds AHS 30-6.

Natchez Cathedral at West Lincoln: Can the Bears realize theirthird win of the season? Cathedral 22-20.

Crystal Springs at Lawrence County: For a change, the Cougarsenjoy a breather on Friday night. Lawrence County 41-8.

Hazlehurst at Franklin County: This should be one of the bettergames in the area. Franklin County 28-20.

In other area action, Parklane over Bowling Green 27-21, NorthPike over Port Gibson 45-6, and Wayne County over McComb 36-12.

After guzzling a root beer, Hoopla provides a preview ofSaturday’s college games starting with a pair of JUCO homecomingspecials.

Pearl River at Co-Lin: Wildcats appear to have too much offensefor the Wolfpack to handle. Pearl River 32-22.

Jones County at Southwest: Bears selected the wrong team fortheir homecoming celebration. Jones County 28-10.

Alabama at Ole Miss: Can the Rebels control the Crimson Tide’shigh-powered offense? Nope. Alabama 39-19.

Houston at Mississippi State: Going out on a limb, Hoopla takeshis trusty parachute with him. State 28-21.

Southern Miss at Louisville: Looks like an offensive show. USM32-24.

In other Magnolia State action, Jackson State over Arkansas-PineBluff 31-21, Valley State over Alcorn State 22-18, Delta State overWest Alabama 35-21, Mississippi College over Huntington 17-10 andBelhaven over West Virginia Tech 20-13. Millsaps has an open dateto promote its academic program.

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