State title rings excite BA team

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2009

It reminded me of wide-eyed youngsters at a candy store. Theyhuddled and pressed closely around a table located in theBrookhaven Academy library. Some football players stood on tiptoesand others found chairs to stand on, hoping for a better view.

BA head football coach Herbert Davis was explaining his designplan for the Cougars’ state championship rings. There would be fourdiamonds on each corner of the face, featuring a Cougar head logo.Each player would have his name engraved on the inside of the ringplus his initials, jersey number and position on the outside.

On the ring’s face was a space reserved for the team motto:”BELIEVE”.

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Their team’s remarkable 15-0 record also would be noted.

So it goes for a Cinderella team that completed a magical seasonwith a 63-28 bashing of Lamar School in the MAIS Class AA statechampionship game two weeks ago.

Now, the rings must be paid for. Davis told his team the totalcost would be nearly $15,000. Each ring would cost approximately$350.

Some generous benefactors have already made donations to thefundraising drive. Championship T-shirts, short and long sleeve,are being sold to help the cause.

Davis told his team that each player would be required to sell30 boxes of garbage bags @ $10 per box, to help finance the rings.There would be a $5 profit per box.

For sure, it is an ambitious effort to sell that many bags.Players might consider putting a blue bow on each box and promotingthe bags as a Christmas gift. Contact the school’s business officefor additional purchase of bags.

Speaking of football, the Cougars landed several players on theMAIS All-State Football Team, led by junior quarterback ChandlerRogers and senior defensive end Will Gatlin.

Cougars on the MAIS Second Team included wide receiver Christian(Bubba) Keene, return specialist Trip Jolly, defensive backJennings Mills, offensive lineman Clint (Stump) Stewart and kickerTyler Trout.

Rogers was recognized as Most Valuable Offensive Player on theDistrict 4-AA Team. He was joined on the First Team by Jolly, Keeneand Donovan Lorraine at wide receiver, Mills at running back, Troutand Stewart.

First Team defensive team honors went to Gatlin, defensive backMark Rushing, and linebackers Jamison Powell and Alan MichaelAllred. Offensive lineman Cameron Barry was named to the SecondTeam.

Speaking of honors, Southeastern Louisiana University widereceiver Simmie Yarborough was one of three Lions chosen to theAll-Southland Conference Second Team. Yarborough caught a team-high57 passes for the Lions for 803 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Jasper Ducksworth, a senior running back from Mt. Olive, Miss.,led Southeastern on the ground with 609 yards and five touchdownswhile Ward, a junior offensive lineman from Sugar Hill, Ga.,started all 11 games at left guard for the Lions.

SEL’s First Team selections were highlighted by linebacker MarkNewbill and defensive back Re’Keem Wilson. Newbill, a junior fromMonroe, finished second in the league with 110 tackles for theLions while Wilson, a junior from Franklinton, led the league withfour interceptions.

The Lions finished 6-5 overall and 4-3 in SLC.

Just how good is Bassfield?

The Yellow Jackets looked impressive as they came from behind tobeat Ackerman for the Class 2A state football championship lastFriday in Jackson. Certainly, the Jackets are loaded with speed andsize.

Loyd Star, the Region 6-2A runner-up, caught Bassfield in thesecond round of the state playoffs and was humbled 47-7.

The Jackets flexed their muscles and made an impressive march tothe state title game. Loyd Star coach Ryan Ross said the LincolnCounty schools and Brookhaven could have combined teams and stillhad trouble beating Bassfield.

The Jackets were awesome 26 years ago, winning three straightstate championships. Head coach Lance Mancuso directed Seminary toa state title IN 2003 before moving to Bassfield. It looks like hehas a super team and the future is bright.

Neighboring Mount Olive beat Durant 27-26 in overtime for theClass 1A crown. The Pirates had defeated Region 4-1A newcomerSebastopol in the South State title game three weeks ago.

Special congratulations to Coach Walter Denton and his TylertownChiefs. They went undefeated (15-0) and beat Aberdeen 34-30 for theClass 3A crown.

St. Stanislaus, led by rifle-armed quarterback Dylan Favre,whipped Lafayette County in the 4A state title game. West Pointflexed its muscles and overpowered Wayne County 35-14 for the 5Atitle.

In a Friday night snowstorm, the University of South Panolaplowed up Oak Grove 56-14 in the 6A title test. South Panola,coached by Lance Pogue, is an awesome force to behold. The Tigerssimply run over opponents and smash them on defense.

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