Cleaning out my notebook of some odds and ends
I’m using this space to clean out my notebook of a few things I’ve wanted to write about. While I’m doing that I’m also contemplating how much times have changed. When I was a kid, Hulk Hogan had to defeat the Iron Sheik to win a championship belt. He had to escape the camel-clutch and put the Sheik away with a leg drop to get the belt. Today championship belts can be won by 10-year-olds in a weekend of travel baseball. I thought the rings for second place were a little over the top, but now they’re giving out championship belts? The Hulkster wishes he had it that good.
Expect a big senior season for Farrod Green
The Hulkster used to preach a regime of eating your vitamins and saying your prayers to get swole like him. Mississippi State senior tight end and Wesson native Farrod Green has done plenty of that in his career.
I ran into Green while catching a few moments of Wesson football practice last month. Green looks great physically and will be a big part of the Mississippi State offense in his final season in Starkville. Watch or listen to a State game and keep your ears peeled for a mention of Green’s name during the course of action.
What you’ll most often hear is Green being lauded for his physical play as a blocker. He’s had some nice catches in his career, but he’s built a reputation as a nasty blocker who gets down field with a physicality. I think he’ll get his shot in the NFL due to that willingness to sell out as a blocker.
NFL tight ends today must be able to run well and catch as the passing game opens up more and more each season due to rule changes and offensive innovation. However, the ground game is still built on men doing one-on-one battle down the offensive line. Who better to block for you than a guy who has been matching up with Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons every day in practice for the last couple years?
What a football-focused life Green has lived. The son of long-time Copiah-Lincoln assistant coach Calvin Green, Farrod was raised in the football dorm and fieldhouse at Co-Lin. His playpen was the practice field and his toybox was the weight room.
Green didn’t have a bunch of stars beside his name coming out of Wesson High. He caught few passes and had a long, skinny build as a high schooler. He had doubters who didn’t think he could play at the SEC level. He’s always had a “just wait and watch” attitude, and if you’ve been watching, then you’ve seen his physical transformation and a guy that sells out for his team.
Green and the Bulldogs open their season Aug. 31 against Louisiana-Lafayette in the Superdome.
Local SEC commitments
Speaking of Mississippi State recruiting locally, the Bulldogs got a big commitment from West Lincoln senior Grant Jackson this week. When the State coaching staff looks at Jackson they see a kid that’s already 6-foot-7 and 300-pounds and that’s from Momma’s cooking and the West Lincoln weight lifting program. Imagine how he’ll transform when their strength and conditioning staff get ahold of him.
Jackson is big, but he’s far from stiff. He bends naturally when he gets down on the line and fires off the ball well. He plays with the type of nastiness that a lineman has to have in order to get the job done collegiately.
He’s also been blessed with parents that have been able to take him to schools on official and unofficial visits along with camps and showcases. His daddy is a State alum and the Dogs are a perfect fit for the first Division I signee in West Lincoln history.
MSU also got a commitment last week from Co-Lin offensive lineman Sebastien Dolcine. Dolcine is a Kentucky transfer from south Florida who redshirted for the Wildcats last season before transferring to Co-Lin. Early signing day for football recruits is Dec. 18.
The early signing period for basketball recruits is Nov. 13 and that’s when Silentianna “Snudda” Collins will ink her letter of intent with the University of Mississippi. The Brookhaven High senior guard/forward fell in love with Oxford and Ole Miss and wanted to end her recruiting by pledging to the Rebels before her senior season started.
Collins played in front of college coaches most nights as a junior and you could see that eventually a Power 5 school would come calling. Her talent puts her on a level above the Southland, Sunbelt and SWAC schools that were pressing her hardest last season.
BHS coach Preston Wilson asked Collins if she was sure she didn’t want to make any more visits and she responded she was set on Ole Miss. Wilson said he let Collins know they’d get to work on building her strength as a senior. The SEC is the most physical women’s basketball league in the nation and the long, skinny Collins will bulk up as her career progresses.
KDMC Performance is the mecca of strength and conditioning in our area
Wilson and I were talking about Collins one morning this week at the Paul Lacoste Sports program that King’s Daughters is hosting at its Performance Center. Wilson is serving as a coach in the program along with his son Darrian. I’m one of the “athletes” that work out under their tutelage four days a week.
On Wednesday I was lying flat and trying to stretch my quads during the end of a workout. In front of me was the white-board that coach Mark Cornwell and his staff use to keep up with their weekly training schedule. Cornwell leads Pro Sports Performance out of the KDMC Performance Center.
The board had a week of workouts laid out with what athletic teams from what schools the PSP staff would be training for the week. All four Lincoln County schools were represented on the board, as were Brookhaven Academy and BHS. Lawrence County and Wesson had teams on the board as well. It was a mix of soccer, football, basketball and softball teams that would be coming in to work on their strength, speed and conditioning.
If you’re a coach or parent, it’s awesome to see local athletes getting high-level training here at home. The facility is filled with the latest equipment and the PSP staff uses it to do sports-specific lifts and exercises in a space that can accommodate an entire team.
KDMC leadership should be commended for their efforts in providing this service to the community. I’d also like to thank them for allowing the Lacoste program to use their space during its 12-week run.
Corey Dickerson is back
One guy who knows about strength, conditioning and rehab work is our local Gold Glover — Pittsburg Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson. Dickerson went on the injured list in April after appearing in four games before injuring his shoulder.
Last week Dickerson was activated from the 60-day injured list after completing a rehab assignment in Indianapolis.
The Brookhaven Academy alum is coming off the best season of his career which saw him win the Gold Glove as the National League left fielder. The Buccos were swept this week in Atlanta by a red-hot Braves team. In his career Dickerson has always drawn Lincoln County baseball fans to Atlanta whenever his team takes on the Braves, whether he was playing for Pittsburg, the Rockies or the Rays.
Dickerson had three hits including a double and drove in four runs against the Braves. There is chatter that Dickerson might be a candidate for a trade. The small-market Pirates will become sellers if they don’t move up in the standings soon and Dickerson is signed to a one-year 8.5-million-dollar deal. His bat might be appealing to a contender looking for a rental ahead of a playoff run.
Cliff Furr is the sports editor at The Daily Leader. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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