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Enterprise hit with probation

Call it ignorance or misinformation. For sure, it is a sad,unfortunate situation that led to Enterprise-Lincoln’s fastpitchsoftball team being placed on athletic probation by the MississippiHigh School Activities Association.

Certainly, my sympathy goes out to Enterprise coach Steve Sasserand his Lady Yellow Jackets. They were expected to be Class 2Atitle contenders in the 2011 season but they still could achievetheir high goals next spring.

According to the MHSAA news release, an Enterprise playerviolated the rules when she participated in softball practice withmembers of the William Carey University team earlier this month.Camps are OK but a specific practice situation, with WCU players,is forbidden.

According to the MHSAA, the penalty is a $300 fine against theschool’s coach. The player has been ruled ineligible. The probationperiod is the entire season. Sasser’s team will be eligible for theplayoffs but they are banned from all regular-seasontournaments.

Enterprise had the option of appealing the MHSAA ruling butelected not to pursue that route. The player is eligible toparticipate in other sports besides softball.

On the MHSAA website’s home page, a statement reads, “A highschool athlete may not try out for a college or community collegesport until the athlete has completed his/her high school season.It includes regular and postseason games in that sport.”

The MHSAA’s notification of probation was sent to Enterpriselast Thursday, Sept. 23. Numerous attempts to contact Enterpriseprincipal Shannon Eubanks and Lincoln County Superintendent TerryBrister have been unsuccessful. On Wednesday morning, a spokesmanat the superintendent’s office said Brister was investigating theincident.

Wednesday phone calls to WCU athletic director Steve Knight andan e-mail to WCU softball coach Wendy Hogue have received noresponse. In other words, lips have been zipped tightly shut. Forthat matter, WCU should have known the rules better.

Golly, gee. People make mistakes and life goes on. Hopefully,other players and coaches will learn a hard lesson fromEnterprise’s mistake. Hopefully, other high school players whoparticipated in the WCU workouts will benefit from the experience,too.

On the bright side, Professor Hoopla B.S. was enjoying thecooler outside temperatures. He composed his weekly list ofpredictions outdoors, seated high upon a tree stand while wearingsunglasses. That’s known as a shady forecast.

Last week, Hoopla predicted the winners of 24 games and got 20correct. Obviously, he’s in midseason form.

Here’s a preview of this weekend’s winners, starting with a pairof Thursday night specials.

Co-Lin at Southwest: Wolves rely on a stoutdefense to beat the Bears in their home den. Co-Lin 17-7.

West Alabama at Delta State: Quarterback MicahDavis directs the Statesmen to another big Gulf South Conferencewin in Cleveland. Delta State 28-14.

Wayne County at Brookhaven: The War Eagles aretitle contenders while the Panthers are hoping for a playoff berth.Wayne County 28-17.

Centreville Academy at Brookhaven Academy:Cougars must focus on the task at hand instead of the homecomingdance. BA 21-7.

Loyd Star at Madison St. Joe: Hornets have hadan extra week to prepare for this region showdown. Loyd Star22-12.

Bogue Chitto at West Lincoln: Bobcats look likestate playoff material as they visit the struggling Bears. BogueChitto 46-12.

Hinds AHS at Wesson: Unbeaten Cobras conquertheir first Region 6-2A opponent in Stone Stadium. Wesson29-14.

Puckett at Enterprise: The Wolves are playinglike state championship contenders. Puckett 32-14.

Wilkinson County at Franklin County: Bulldogsare overdue for a breakout game and homecoming would be the idealsetting. Franklin County 24-20.

Lawrence County at North Pike: Jaguars are theteam to beat in the Region 6-4A race. North Pike 29-17.

In other area action, Tylertown over Hazlehurst 31-21, WestJones over McComb 28-16, South Pike over Crystal Springs 25-6,Presbyterian Christian over Copiah Academy 38-13, Jefferson Countyover Amite County 44-8 and Parklane over Oak Forest 17-10.

Kentucky at Ole Miss: Rebels are capable ofscratching out another SEC win. Ole Miss 24-21.

Alcorn State at Mississippi State: Bulldogsenjoy an easy victory at the expense of the Braves. Miss. State48-6.

Marshall at Southern Miss: Golden Eagles areconcentrating on a Conference USA win. Southern 33-13.

In other Magnolia State games, Prairie View over Valley State38-8, Millsaps over DePauw 25-14, and Belhaven over Bethel 39-16.Jackson State and Mississippi College have open dates to heal theirwounds.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com