Jersey numbers important when eye-balling players

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can’t tell the players without aprogram?

    Thanks to countless hours of in-depth research by yours truly, thetelevision-viewing puzzle could be solved if you are looking forjersey numbers of area players who play senior collegefootball.

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    At Mississippi State, the 20th-ranked Bulldogs are in Memphistonight to battle the Tigers at 7:30 in Liberty Bowl Stadium. Twolocal players to keep an eye on: Matthew Wells (6-0, 205), aredshirt freshman, is expected to start at outside linebacker.Wells, from Monticello, wears jersey No. 22.

    Also at MSU, senior cornerback Damein Anderson (5-11, 195) ofHazlehurst is wearing No. 26.

    At Toledo, Brookhaven product Charles “Bobo” Rancifer (6-3, 217) isa senior starter at linebacker. He will wear No. 10 when theRockets play New Hampshire today at 4 p.m. in the Glass Bowl.

    At Southeastern Louisiana, former Brookhaven wide receiver SimmieYarborough (6-1, 215, sr.) will wear No. 88 for the Lions as theymeet Tulane Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in the Superdome. Yarboroughhas  caught 168 passes andscored 27 TDs in his record-setting career.

    Also at SEL, freshman guard Stone Underwood of Brookhaven (6-3,290) is No. 2 on the depth chart at guard. He will wear No. 79Saturday.

    At Southern Miss, three area players are expected to see plenty ofaction when the Golden Eagles host Louisiana Tech for a Saturdaynight, red-eye special, featuring 9 o’clock kickoff. Juniorlinebacker Jamie Collins (6-3, 239, jr.) of Meadville is expectedto be a major force on USM’s revamped defense. He will wear No.8.  Another Meadvilleproduct, redshirt sophomore Alex Smith (5-11, 193), will wear No.16 and play cornerback.

    Also at USM, redshirt sophomore Kendrick Hardy (6-0, 219), isconsidered a major force at running back. Hardy, a Monticelloproduct, will wear No. 29.

    At Delta State, senior quarterback Micah Davis (6-2, 200) of Wessonis fresh from leading the Statesmen to a overtime victory. Davis,wearing jersey No. 10, and the Statesmen are at Northwestern (La.)State University in Natchitoches for a 6 p.m. kickoff in TurpinStadium

    At Alabama-Birmingham, the Blazers start their season a littlelater, Sept. 10, at Florida. Brookhaven product Darion Smith (6-2,280, sr.) will start at center and wear No. 75.


    Meanwhile, back in the sweat-soaked Homeseekers Paradise, ProfessorHoopla B.S. was last seen wearing jersey No. 41, recognizing hisfour decades of employment at The DAILY LEADER. Still basking inthe glow of last week’s 10-1 prognosticating performance, Hooplacontinued his refreshing vacation in Jackson Hole, Wy. He faxed hislist of predictions for this weekend’s games, starting with fourThursday night specials.

    Co-Lin at Coahoma: There are more questions than answers as theWolfpack begin their campaign in picturesque Clarksdale. In a closecontest, Co-Lin 24-17.

         Holmes at Southwest:Bears have experience on their side when the visitors arrive inSummit with a new coaching staff. Southwest 16-7.

    Mississippi State at Memphis: Bulldogs have the bite to complimenttheir national ranking. State 38-8.

    Delta State at Northwestern (La.) State: Statesmen will have theirhands full with this road test after going overtime in their seasonopener. Delta State 17-14.

    Hazlehurst at Brookhaven: Plenty of points illuminate the jumbotronscoreboard on King Field. Brookhaven 32-21.

    Simpson Academy at Brookhaven Academy: Another scoreboardfuse-blower on R.M. “Red” Stuard Field. Brookhaven Academy39-29.

    University Christian at Bogue Chitto: Whoever makes the last tacklecould win this offensive show. Bogue Chitto 44-34.

    Enterprise at West Lincoln: It’s a must-win situation for bothteams in a long, long season. Enterprise 14-12.

    Mize at Wesson: Cobras eke out a narrow win over the Bulldogs.Wesson 16-14.

    Loyd Star at Natchez Cathedral: Hornets must overcome an awesomeaerial attack on the road. Cathedral 40-30.

    Magee at Lawrence County:Cougars rebound with a big win over theTrojans. Lawrence Co. 26-12.

    Franklin County at Tylertown: Bulldogs have a tough row to hoe whenthey battle the Chiefs on the road. Franklin County 26-14.

    In other area action, Copiah Academy over Central Hinds 27-14,North Pike over Germantown 41-12, Centreville over Parklane 20-10,South Pike over Amite County 34-13, Jefferson County over PortGibson 26-18, and Crystal Springs over Richland 26-12. McComb hasan open date to recover from its loss at South Pike.


    After draining a Coke, Hoopla looks at Saturday’s collegiatescene.

    BYU at Ole Miss: Visiting Cougars sweat a lot and score a lot ofpoints in sun-baked Oxford. BYU 42-27.

    Louisiana Tech at Southern Miss: This game will conclude aftermidnight but the USM fans will drive home with smiles on theirtired faces. Southern Miss 44-29.

    Concordia-Selma at Jackson State: Probation-stricken Tigers capturetheir season opener. Jackson State 38-20.

    In other games, involving Magnolia State institutions of higherlearning: Grambling over Alcorn State 29-18, Alabama Sate overValley State 48-20, Mississippi College over Millsaps 22-13 andBelhaven over Louisiana College 21-12.


    Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by