Video: Smithville celebrates 1A slow pitch title

@brandonspeck

Smithville swept Sebastapol on Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park to claim its third title in four years. The Lady Seminoles won it all in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Smithville, and the other three Monroe County schools in Ridgeland Saturday – Hatley, Nettleton and Amory – play each other in a gauntlet in their own backyards.

Smithville beat Hamilton to win the north.

“It’s a good softball atmosphere around our county,” Smithville coach Jeremy Duke said, “obviously with four teams down here. It’s pretty cool to be around that area of softball and it be so competitive.”

Here is the celebration and video with Duke.

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Posted in Sports

Scores from Saturday, Oct. 25

Softball
MHSAA ChampionshipsAt Freedom Ridge Park, Ridgeland
(Best-of-3)

Class 1A
Smithville 5-12, Sebastopol 1-8
Smithville wins series 2-0

Class 2A
East Webster 7-1, Hatley 3-0
East Webster wins series 2-0

Class 3A
Philadelphia 4-8-13, Nettleton 6-7-6
Philadelphia wins series 2-1

Class 4A
Newton County 10-16, Amory 7-1
Newton County wins series 2-0

Volleyball
MHSAA quarterfinals

Class I
Corinth 3, Lafayette 2
Senatobia 3, Ripley 0

Posted in Sports

Four Downs Week 10: City done run house

Week 10 hath come and gone and for three of the state’s classes, there is one more week in the regular season. Here are four things we learned from Friday.

1. Calhoun City was efficient in a beatdown.

In a 42-7 thrashing of No. 3 Eupora, No. 1  Calhoun City was very efficient. The Wildcats had five possessions in the first half and scored five touchdowns. Brieton Sykes (143) and Chakel Gates (166) combined for 309 yards on the ground and five of the touchdowns. They are relentless and run behind a stout line. Gates scored on a 69-yard run on the Wildcats’ first play and after Sykes ran out of bounds on an otherwise tackle-breaking, highlight-reel touchdown run, he just punched it in from a yard out. Jesse Nabors ran for a touchdown and 66 yards.

And the defense held 1,000-yard Eupora back Lamonte Salley to 42 yards on 14 carries. City was efficient and effective. I haven’t seen Bassfield, but Calhoun City does it all well. Gates only threw three passes, but completed them all. A City vs. Bassfield rematch would be fun, but as quick as we’ve been to crown Calhoun, Baldwyn is sneaking around in the state’s Top 5 as well. The Bearcats are 9-1 and would have been 10-0 if not for a weather-delayed loss at Saltillo. Baldwyn has a good front and rushers with the same firepower City has. Plus Jacob Turner has shown he can effectively lead a passing game. If Baldwyn’s defense, which is as good as any in North 2A, can halt Sykes, then Baldwyn-Calhoun City is the most appealing North title possibility.

2. Thursday Halloween treat.

North Pontotoc and Mooreville are giving us an Oct. 30 pail of goodness. The two are both 4-0 and play Thursday in Ecru. Winner wins division, a division North has claimed stake on, but Mooreville has proved over and over that it belongs in the conversation of. I know North coach Brian Sutton respects the Troopers. He’s told me as much. But not everyone thinks they can win. I know they can. I have no idea who I’ll pick in a game that will be one for the ages. The two are ranked in the Journal’s Top 5 medium schools and North is No. 4 in the AP poll.

3. Armani Linton has “it.”

After Baldwyn beat Walnut by 43 points in a game Walnut badly wanted to win, Wildcats’ Ole Miss-commit Armani Linton talked with Jeff Roberts in a video interview I’ll post later. Linton has just grinded for every hard yard he got in a disappointing loss and no one would have blamed him for not wanting to talk.

But Linton was as gracious after the loss as he is after a win.Kid has it physically and kid has it mentally and personally. He’ll be an impact player at Ole Miss sooner than you think.

4. Thursday granted a Hatley first.

With Mantachie beating East Union and Hatley winning at New Site, Hatley clinched its first-ever playoff berth. Hatley has been playing football since 1963, the last tenured team in Mississippi that hadn’t gone to the postseason since its 1981 inception. That is over. I’ll be talking with coach Patrick Schooler, a Hatley grad, about a win that I promise you has turned Hatley upside down with excitement.

Posted in Football, Recruiting

Gene and Brandon’s Picks Week 10

Gene went 5-9 last week to move to 33-7 and take a commanding lead on Brandon, who went 3-2 to go to 28-12.

This week

Tupelo at DeSoto Central

Gene: Tupelo; Brandon: Tupelo

 

Calhoun City at Eupora

Gene: Eupora; Brandon: Calhoun City

 

Kossuth at Mooreville

Gene: Mooreville; Brandon: Mooreville

 

West Point at Saltillo

Gene: West Point; Brandon: West Point

 

Walnut at Baldwyn

Gene: Baldwyn; Brandon: Baldwyn

Posted in Football, Sports

Area football scores from Thursday, Oct. 23

Biggersville 34, Houlka 27
Hatley 20, New Site 14
Mantachie 40, East Union 16

Posted in Sports

Hickory Flat coach dies in car accident

@brandonspeck

Hickory Flat softball coach Cyndal Cleveland died Thursday evening in a car accident. Cleveland was in her second year as a teacher and coach. She was a standout basketball and softball player at Mantachie and in 2010 wrapped up a standout softball career at Itawamba CC.

Itawamba County medical examiner Steven McNeese said Cleveland, who was traveling alone, was pronounced dead at the scene of a three-car accident on Hwy. 371 in Ozark. He said Cleveland’s vehicle went down an embankment and into trees. Two others were injured.

“We are greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Cleveland,” said ICC Athletic Director Carrie Ball-Williamson. “Cyndal was your ideal student-athlete both on the field and in the classroom. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, and Hickory Flat High School.”

Photo courtesy Itawamba CC

Photo courtesy Itawamba CC

 

Posted in Sports

Week 9 NeMiss Fantasy Standings

Updated Fantasy Standings (thru Week 9, via @guntillobearcat)


1. Kedrick Storey 1,106.3
2. Brandon Speck 1,076
3. Melissa Meador 1,033.5
4. Scotty Nichols 947.9
5. Jeff Roberts 833.9
6. Jonathan Wise 775.2
7. John Davis 717.7
8. Donica Phifer 295.4

Week 9 Results (season totals)

Kedrick Storey 107.1 (1,106.3)
Jase Stroupe Falkner 0 (219.9)
Dorian Gaston Ripley 13.4 (102.9)
Armani Linton Walnut 34 (230)
Alston Dill Mantachie 0 (49.7)
Dakota Dailey Marshall Academy 59.7 (503.8)

Scotty Nichols 103.8 (947.9)
Duke Upshaw Baldwyn 17.8 (187.7)
Alex Norwood Tupelo 0 (60.9)
Diamante Pounds Saltillo 0 (216.9)
Hunter White IAHS 44.8 (166.4)
Vijay Miller IAHS 41.2 (316)

Jonathan Wise 88 (775.2)
Daniel Bristow 10 (124.5)
Brooks Shannon North Pontotoc 7.3 (252.1)
TJ Fields Amory 23.7 (138.3)
DJ Glaspie Bruce 12.6 (26.5)
Caleb Nelson North Pontotoc 34.4 (233.8)

John Davis 82.6 (717.7)
Jack Abraham Oxford 0 (248.9)
CJ Williams Aberdeen -.2 (11.1)
Kenzie Phillips Oxford 39.7 (212.7)
Kyree White/Zach Cousar Oxford 2 (118.2)
Tyrell Price Lafayette Co 41.1 (126.8)

Jeff Roberts 72.1 (833.9)
Chakel Gates Calhoun City off (188.5)
Isaiah Howard Ripley 24.7 (133.7)
Jeramie Lawrence Falkner 0 (136.1)
Chance Lindsey Hatley 29.1 (192)
JT Herring New Site 18.3 (183.6)

Melissa Meador 62.9 (1,033.5)
Brady Davis Starkville 28.3 (375.6)
DK Metcalf Oxford 7.8 (106.2)
Keshon Heard Hamilton 0 (256.1)
Tyreke Gates Aberdeen 3.1 (78.5)
Devin Wilson New Albany/Brandon Townsend Houston 23.7 (217.1)

Brandon Speck 55.9 (1,076)
Josh Williams Aberdeen 21.2 (351)
Jay Johnson Bruce .3 (85.7)
Marquis Moore Byers 1 (155.1)
Jacquez Horsley Starkville 5.9 (100.5)
Antares Gwyn Corinth 27.5 (383.7)

Donica Phifer 23.4 (295.4)
Devon Thomas Lafayette Co 22.8 (108.3)
Jake McDonald New Albany .6 (24.8)
Quincy Starks West Point 0 (76.4)
Chase Hall East Union/Tay Tay Owens Lafayette Co 0 (65.3)
Hunter Sheffield IAHS 0 (20.6)

Posted in Football, Recruiting

MHSAA Volleyball quarterfinal schedule

Saturday
Class I
Corinth at Lafayette, 3:30 p.m.
Ripley at Senatobia, 4 p.m.
Our Lady Academy at Resurrection
St. Andrews at Sacred Heart
Class II
Center Hill at Lake Cormorant
Lewisburg at Germantown
East Central at Pearl
Gautier at Long Beach
Class III
Starkville at NW Rankin
Madison Central at DeSoto Central
Ocean Springs at Oak Grove
Petal at Hancock

Posted in Sports

MHSAA Softball Championship schedule

Saturday at Freedom Ridge Park, Ridgeland
(Best-of-3)
Class 1A
Smithville vs. Sebastopol, 10:30 a.m.
Class 2A
Hatley vs. East Webster, 10:30 a.m.
Class 3A
Nettleton vs. Philadelphia, noon
Class 4A
Amory vs. Newton County, noon
Class 5A/6A
Neshoba Central vs. West Harrison, 10:30 a.m.

Posted in Sports

Scores from Tuesday, Oct. 21

Softball
MHSAA North championships
(Best-of-3)

Class 1A
Smithville 19-36, Hamilton 6-24
(Smithville wins series 2-0)

Class 2A
Hatley 7-8, Mantachie 3-0
(Hatley wins series 2-0)

Class 3A
Nettleton 22-23, Mooreville 12-13
(Nettleton wins series 2-0)

Class 4A
Amory 10-7, Tishomingo County 9-6
(Amory wins series 2-0)

MHSAA South championships
East Webster 2-9-15, Enterprise 4-3-8
(East Webster wins series 2-1)

Volleyball
MHSAA North playoffs
Class I (second round)
Corinth 3, Choctaw County 0
Lafayette 3, Caledonia 2
Ripley 3, Cleveland 0
Senatobia 3, Pontotoc 1

Class II (opening round)
Center Hill 3, Ridgeland 0
Lewisburg def. New Hope
Byes: Lake Cormorant, Germantown

Class III (opening round)
Madison Central 3, Tupelo 2
Starkville 3, Clinton 0
Byes: DeSoto Central, Northwest Rankin

Posted in Sports

Rucker brothers thriving for Troopers

@brandonspeck

Tay and Chris Rucker will be able to talk about this season for every Christmas dinner they share for the rest of their lives. The brothers, Tay a junior and Chris a senior, have helped Mooreville from two years of mediocrity to the top of Division 1-3A.

“They’re typical brothers. They fuss and fight, but it’s kind of like they’re got a connection out there,” Mooreville coach Kevin Austin said. “If Tay gets in trouble, he’s going to find Chris.”

Tay has thrown for 1,197 yards, 14 touchdowns and five picks. He has rushed for 585 and six touchdowns. Chris has rushed for 456 yards and three touchdowns and averages nearly 13 yards per carry.  He has caught 19 passes for 458 yards and three scores

“They fight like cats and dogs, but they look out for one another,” Austin said.

Mooreville (6-2) and North Pontotoc (8-1) are both 3-0 in the division and both in the Journal’s Top 5 medium school rankings. Kossuth is 2-1. The three have won a combined 13 in a row, the best part they play one another the final two weeks of the season. Mooreville hosts Kossuth and goes to North Pontotoc.

And for those who still don’t think Mooreville is legit, the Troopers have 108 points – only Kossuth’s 110 is more among the division teams. The Troopers have allowed a division-low 43 points.

Posted in Football

Former Wave Pinson named Defensive POW

Lee Adams/ICC release

Former Tupelo High and Itwamba CC  Indian and current Louisiana Tech linebacker Terrell Pinson was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the CFPA (College Football Performance Awards) on Monday for his performance against the University of Texas San Antonio on Saturday

The 6’2” 210 pound senior, had a career game Saturday with 7 total tackles (4 solo, 3 assisted), 2 interceptions, 2 pass break ups and 1 forced fumble and recovered for TD. Despite his performance, the Tupelo native was surprised by being named player of the week, but doesn’t take any credit for the honor. 

“I’m honestly shocked, but I’m very excited and appreciative,” said Pinson. “It’s a blessing and I thank God and my teammates for helping me achieve this special honor.”

Pinson, who lettered at ICC in 2011 and 2012, receiving the honor won’t come as a shock to his head coach Skip Holtz. 

“He (Pinson) is a difference maker,” said Holtz during an interview after Saturday’s game. “He came out and had the game of his life.” Holtz went on to say that Pinson put forth “just an unbelievable individual effort.”

Pinson’s three turnovers were key in the Bulldogs securing their 27-20 win and his performance also earned him a “Helmet Sticker” from Lou Holtz on ESPN’s College Football Final show late Saturday night. 

This season, Pinson has recorded 29-tackles, 2-interceptions, 2-forced fumbles and 1-sack in seven games and his Bulldogs are 3-0 in conference play.

Posted in Football

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