Archive - Sports Article
August 18th, 2011
Itâ€™s finally here.
West Point and South Panola will kick-off Saturday night in front of whatâ€™s sure to be a sellout crowd in West Point. What better way to start the 2011 season then with the reigning back-to-back state champions in 5A and 6A respectively.
For some, there may not be a better match-up.
The Green Wave have been preparing since the Spring in anticipation for this season. Summer workouts and weight training sessions have kept players in shape and no doubt motivated them to turnout another successful season under head coach Chris Chambless.
First year head coach Benjie Merchant will lead the Raiders against one of the best teams in MAIS Class Newton County.
But Merchant says the boys are really excited to finally get going after showing improvement everyday throughout the summer and fall practices.
â€śThereâ€™s been progress as far as instilling the basis of the program in what weâ€™re going to do,â€ť he said. â€śWe still have a long way to go.â€ť
Merchant is on the first level of trying to rebuild a program that has fallen on hard times over the years, including the last two seasons where they have won a combined six games.
When Hebron takes the field tonight, itâ€™s going to be a test to their conditioning, something they have worked hard on all summer.
With just 11 players on the team they had to move down to 8-man football this season, but thereâ€™s been no excuses. Even though they wonâ€™t qualify for any post season play, the Eagles have been positive and are looking forward to getting some licks on somebody else; Strider Academy.
West Point will have their hands full some argue when South Panola rolls into town on Saturday.
The Green Wave struggled at times defensively in the jamboree against Louisville, especially in the secondary.
But after a week of watching film, Green Wave defensive coordinator Kendall Pickens feels pretty confident his boys will step up to the task at stopping the Tigers.
â€śWe got to get more pass rush on the defensive line and in the secondary, we just have to work on techniques,â€ť he said.
COLUMBUS - Tori Nichols two run blast in the third inning have Hebron the lead and they never looked back on their way to a 4-2 win over Heritage Tuesday night.
â€śThis was another typical game for us,â€ť Lady Eagles head coach Cass Tapley said. â€śWe did get seven hits but we are going to have to fill some holes in the lineup maybe with more of a short game.â€ť
The game was scoreless until the third when Nichols cleared the bases with one swing. Chloe Tapley doubled to center to start the rally. The Lady Eagles were held scoreless until the fourth when they would double their lead to 4-0.
STARKVILLE - The Oak Hill Academy softball team has been in a giving mood lately.
In two conference games, the Lady Raiders surrendered three unearned runs in a 3-2 loss at Winston Academy and dropped a decision at Canton Academy after giving up five unearned runs.
â€śWe canâ€™t afford giving folks Christmas in August,â€ť Oak Hill softball coach Marion Bratton said.
The Lady Raiders were in a giving mood once again on Monday, letting a 6-4 lead slip away and lost to the Starkville Academy Lady Volunteers 10-6.
When South Panola and West Point kick off the 2011 season on Saturday, one can probably expect a lot of points to blow up the score board.
Given the history of these two teams, who last year scored an average of 45 and 29 points per game, respectively, Saturday may just be a shoot out.
STARKVILLE - The West Point Green Wave had their first taste of live football Saturday afternoon at Davis Wade Stadium, and although they came out with a 21-20 loss to long time rival Louisville in the first game of the 10-team jamboree, head coach Chris Chambless knows it was a just a measuring stick to see where they are heading into the opening week.
COLUMBUS - Oak Hill finally hit the grid-iron Thursday night, their first taste of action at the Heritage Academy jamboree.
"We did about as expected," first year head coach Benjie Merchant said.
The Raiders lost to Bessemer Academy (Ala.) 14-0 in the first game and then lost 13-0 against Tuscaloosa Christian, both among the best in the Alabama Independent Schools Association.
"We played a real good team in Bessemer," Merchant said."We were playing out of our league. They had athletes everywhere. I think once we get back in our own league we'll be okay."
In their first game in nearly a week, the Oak Hill Lady Raiders softball team held on for as long as they could Thursday night before finally breaking in the fifth inning and falling to Canton 5-0 in district play.
Oak Hill falls to 5-4 on the year.
The first five innings lasted nearly an hour and both teams had failed to score a run.
Canton finally broke the deadlock in the home half of the fifth inning scoring four unearned runs on two hits and three Oak Hill defensive errors. They added another unearned run in the sixth inning.