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Bogue Chitto hosts football jamboree

BOGUE CHITTO – Football fans looking for a brief fix can findsome satisfaction Friday night at the Bogue Chitto Jamboree.Starting at 5 p.m. on Troy Smith Field, the Bogue Chitto Bobcats,West Lincoln Bears and Wesson Cobras will compare footballskills.

According to Bogue Chitto head coach Gareth Sartin, tomorrownight’s format will feature game-style conditions, using the wholefield. There will be no kickoffs or punts.

Bogue Chitto takes the field in first half against Wesson at 5.Wesson plays West Lincoln at 6 in the second half and the Bobcatstackle West Lincoln at 7 p.m. in the final half

“It will be just like a game,” said Sartin. “If you get a firstdown, you keep going. There will be no kicking. Just mark off 30yards for a punt.

After a team scores, the opponent will take over at its 30-yardline, some 70 yards away from the end zone.

Certainly, spring practice can be a drudgery. The Mississippi HighSchool Activities Association allows 10 days in pads and five inshorts during spring drills. Jamborees provide a nice finish to thedrills.

At small schools, many of the key players are involved in otherspring sports, leaving the football coach shorthanded while Bubbaparticipates in baseball, tennis, golf and track. Injuries also cancause problems.

“We’ve had about three out with some shoulders (injuries),”explained Sartin. “We’ve got seven who won’t be playing in thespring game. Hopefully, they’ll be well when preseason practicestarts,” the last week in July.

Sartin has an experienced quarterback returning in Javier Gee.Another veteran on offense is running back Colton McClendon. Ondefense, linebacker Kevin Brothern and lineman Tevin Tobias anchorthe Bobcats.

Sartin said his Bobcats will wear game uniforms for thejamboree.

Wesson boss Tommy Clopton said he expects to have about 56 playerson the team bus Friday.

“It’s hot but we are starting to polish, now,” said Clopton. “Wehave had a good bit of competition. We have a good many startersback on defense. But we have a lot of holes to fill onoffense.”

Wesson standout quarterback Matt Smith returns for his senior year.Replacing 1,000-yard running back Jeromy Smith will be a challengebut Clopton has a stable of eager runners ready to earn a startingjob.

“We will be different at running back,” said Clopton. Hopefuls DeeJones, Austin Graham and Kyle Cross are among the leadersmentioned.

Wesson (Class 2A) and Bogue Chitto (1A) are district titlecontenders almost every year and usually advance to the stateplayoffs.

West Lincoln, under the direction of second-year head footballcoach Chris Calcote, snapped a 26-game losing streak in their 2009season opener, beating Williams-Sullivan of Durant in overtime. TheBears (2-9) are looking for more victories in 2010.

The Bears are led by rising junior linebacker Garrett Rushing, theteam’s leading tackler last season. Running back Calvin Kees andquarterback Dee Price pace the offense.

At Lawrence County, Coach Mike Davis carries his team to NorthForrest in Hattiesburg today for a jamboree, featuring Bassfieldand the host Eagles. Action starts at 5 p.m., with junior varsityteams, followed the varsity.

Area baseball fans can watch the Brookhaven Academy Cougars go forthe gold tonight when they host Hillcrest Christian. BA slippedpast Hillcrest 1-0 in Tuesday’s opener on the road. Action beginsat 5 p.m. today as Game Two of the best-of-three series gets underway. A third game, if necessary, would begin 30 minutes after theconclusion of Game Two.

BA coach Casey Edwards has manufactured a solid team in his firstyear at the helm. The Cougars hit the ball with authority and theyhave a strong pitching staff, too, led by seniors Tyler Parvin andTripp Jolly. Junior hurler Hunter McCullough pitched Tuesday’sshutout.

Austin Hartzog, an Ole Miss signee, is expected to start on themound for Hillcrest today. Hartzog, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing200 pounds, also sparkled as a basketball player last season.

Our thoughts and prayers are with longtime DAILY LEADER sportswriter Richard Dube as he recovers from a heart attack sufferedlast Friday. Not wanting to disturb anyone in the DL’s newsroom,Richard punched his time card and drove himself to King’s DaughterMedical Center when he noticed chest pains.

Dube was transferred to the Cardio Vascular Heart Unit at SouthwestMississippi Medical Center in McComb where he spent the weekend inICU. He’s recovering at home and we wish him a speedyrecovery.

Richard has been a loyal and dedicated staff member for nearly 30years. Like the rest of us scribes, he rarely misses a day ofwork.

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