Monday, August 30, 2010

Area HS football roundup

GREENVILLE – The second week of the “Lott Experiment” at Greenville-Weston didn’t end the way the Hornets would have liked, after falling 13-6 to Clarksdale Friday night.
The Wildcats (2-0) scored all 13 points in the second half. Hanson Smith scored from 20 yards out in the first quarter, while Cornelius Williams tacked on the final touchdown from four yards out in the second period.
Clarksdale defeated GWHS (1-1) without passing for a single yard. The Wildcats did, however, gain 216 yards on the ground – lead by Smith’s 116 yards on 10 attempts. Eric Belton (44 yards), Elias Wells (46 yards) and Williams (41 yards) each added their punch to the Hornets.
GWHS will be on the road Friday to face Canton, while Clarksdale will travel to battle Christian Brothers in Memphis.
The Hornets scored their lone touchdown in the third quarter when quarterback Jimmy Goodman, who started in place of Willie Mosby, rushed for an 8-yard score.
Through the air, Goodman went 9-for-19 for 82 yards and an interception. Fullback Terrell Williams, who finished with six catches for 57 yards, was his favorite option. Demarious Pearson added three catches for 25 yards.
As a team, the Hornets rushed for 89 yards on 30 attempts. Running back Donald Jackson had 74 yards on 20 carries.
Defensively, the Hornets were led by Mosby and Greg Foster, who each had nine tackles. Williams chipped in eight of his own.
Clarksdale’s Jordan Harris-Williams led the Wildcats with seven tackles, while Juantavious Grey snatched an interception.

River Oaks 27, Washington School 24
MONROE, LA. — River Oaks blocked a Washington School game-tying field goal with 19 seconds remaining to defeat the Generals Friday night 27-24.
Washington fell to 0-2, while River Oaks (2-0) won their second straight game.
Washington School's Eric Brozovich was held to 92 passing yards in their season-opening loss to Jackson Prep. But Friday, the Delta Democrat Times Preseason Offensive Player of the Year broke out for 285 yards and two touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush). He went 25-for-32.
Washington scored on a Nathan Noble field goal in the first quarter, a 10-yard Ryan Gober run in the second, a 34-yard Hayden Lewis reception in the third, and a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brozovich in the fourth period.
Gober led Washington's rushing attack with 54 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Hayden Lewis had five catches for 68 yards, while Noble chipped in 3 catches for 58 yards.
Washington is scheduled to play their first home game of the season Friday against Pillow Academy at 7 p.m.

Central Hinds 44, GCS 14
RAYMOND – Greenville Christian scored two first half touchdowns Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Central Hinds, as the Saints fell 44-14.
Mike Hardy caught a 28-yard Justin Leavy touchdown pass in the first quarter, but the Cougars put up 17 points in the first period to go along with 20 in the second.
Leavy’s 81-yard touchdown run in the second quarter capped off the Saints’ scoring.
Central Hinds ended their scoring route in the third quarter with a 22-yard scoring touchdown pass.

Simmons 16, South Delta
HOLLANDALE – Rashuun Alexander scored on a 50-yard reception and Damien Samuels rushed for a 45-yard touchdown Friday night to send Simmons (1-1) to a 16-6 victory over South Delta (1-1).
Both Fredy Cosey and Samuels scored on a two-point conversion attempts.
Debrille Grant had a great night, throwing for 220 yards and rushing for 80.
Samuels finished with 152 yards on the ground, while Alexander added 89 receiving yards.
Simmons will be at home Friday against Drew.

Aberdeen 64
Ray Brooks 6

Madison St. Joe 14
Greenville St. Joe 6

Leland 20
Shaw 6

Ejections, scuffles, 2 major injuries highlight Riverside's 20-14 win over rival O'Bannon

PHOTO CUTLINE: Riverside's Ladarius Goodman (8), gets swarmed by a host of O'Bannon Greenwave defenders Friday in first quarter action. Goodman reportedly suffered a dislocated elbow near the end of the second quarter.

GREENVILLE – Before Friday’s regionally televised matchup between Jackson area rival high schools Brandon and Pearl, two Brandon High students were reportedly arrested for spraying “BHS” and dog paw prints on the on Pearl’s $500,000 - $700,000 artificial turf in Ray Rogers Stadium.
O’Bannon and Riverside’s showdown Friday night didn’t involve expensive artificial turf or television cameras, but it was just as electrifying.
If there wasn’t a rivalry between the two Washington County teams, who belong to the same school district and are separated by less than 20 miles, there is now.
There were at least two ejections, numerous scuffles and two major injures during Riverside’s 20-14 win over O’Bannon (0-2). Riverside quarterback Ladarius Goodman reportedly dislocated his elbow at the end of the first half while O’Bannon’s leading rusher, Jeremy McCray, seriously injured his knee only minutes after having a 54-yard touchdown run revoked by a holding call. Medical personnel worked on McCray’s knee on the sideline before he was taken away from the stadium.
As of Friday night, O’Bannon coach Mack Sampson said he had no update on the all-district running back.
There were two scuffles between the two teams during the third quarter and another heated exchange near the end of the game, where at least one OBHS player darted on the field in defense of teammates. After the officials separated the two squads, the game clock winded down.
The teams didn’t shake hands following the game, presumably to stop any more possible confrontations.
“A lot of these kids know each other. The people know each other. We’re in the same school district,” said RHS coach Warren West, whose team is now 2-0 and already surpassed last year’s 1-10 record. “You hate to see that happen and our kids were probably at fault sometimes. We’re going to go back and look at the tape and correct them and try to hold down our tempers.
"But you know in football, when they’re beating on each other, sometimes tempers are going to happen, and you just have to learn to hold that – and that’s part of the discipline that we’re trying to teach our kids.”
Last year, McCray was the leader for the Greenwaves – rushing for over 1,500 yards. His presence was extremely missed after his third quarter injury, said Sampson.
“It was a big turning point,” he said. “Jeremy scored the touchdown to put us up in the first half.
“It really hurt us because we’re a young team.”
West said Goodman’s injury woke the Bulldogs up.
“Our biggest concern was Goodman. We wanted to win it for him,” he said.
After Goodman’s injury, the Bulldogs put the ball in the hands of reserve running back Lorenzo Johnson. And he filled in quite nicely, scoring a rushing touchdown in the third quarter to bring RHS back within two points, 14-12.
Justin Short scored RHS’s final touchdown in the third quarter after he recovered a Greenwave fumble in the endzone. Johnson scored the two-point conversion.
“We were kind of handcuffed having to play a kid at quarterback that has never played there before,” said West. “But he did what we needed him to do – take snaps, keep the football and hope our defense wins the ballgame.”
OBHS is scheduled to travel Friday to Palmer. RHS is scheduled to go to Coahoma County.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Slow-pitch softball returns to GWHS

GREENVILLE – Earlier this summer, it looked as if slow-pitch softball at Greenville-Weston had played in its last inning. The sport – along with five others including baseball – were suspended by the Greenville Public School District due to a $163,000 cut in the athletic budget.
Fast forward two months later to Saturday morning, and it was a totally different atmosphere.
Thanks to the support from the newly constructed booster club and the Greenville community, the Honeybees took to the field for the first time this season.
And they did it in great fashion, as GWHS rallied from a 10-2 deficit late in the game to win 17-10.
Co-head coach Randy Russell said he’s thankful for all the community has done, but the squad is still in need of additional support.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to play softball,” said Russell, who along with Juliet Thomas volunteered to coach the team. “It means a lot to these young ladies.
“We’re working on fundraisers to get the equipment that we need.”
OBHS and GWHS fans and supporters filled the stands Saturday morning to watch the two local teams play.
Sharnikqua Brown, who plays third base and shortstop for the Honeybees, said she was ecstatic when she found out that the sport was making a comeback.
“I was excited when they brought (slow-pitch softball) back,” said the senior standout. “I play basketball and it gives me something to do before basketball season starts.”
Coach Thomas said she doesn’t mind volunteering her time to help the team. She said she’s just glad that the sport is still alive at GWHS.
“We’re glad to see these girls out here because these girls need activities like this,” she said. “We’re just asking everyone to support the team for the rest of the year.”

Washington County's Week 1 Top Peformers

Davanta Overton
QB (Leland)
Leland High quarterback Davanta Overton threw for 200 yards and added 100 yards on the ground Friday night to send the Cubs (1-0) to a 30-6 win over Drew.

Terrell Williams
Greenville-Weston’s Terrell Williams gained 70 yards and touchdown on the ground Friday night in a 15-14 win over Gentry. The senior linebacker also added eight tackles.

Brandon Capers
RB (Leland)
Leland’s Brandon Capers ran for 90 yards and two touchdowns Friday night.

Ryan Gober
RB (Washington School)
Washington School’s Ryan Gober ran for 92 yars on only nine attempts Friday night in a 24-10 loss to Jackson Prep.

Seve Signa
QB (Deer Creek)
Deer Creek School’s Seve Signa threw for a touchdown and ran for another Friday in Deer Creek’s 20-12 loss to Humphreys Academy.

Ladarius Goodman
QB (Riverside)
Riverside’s Ladarius Goodman ran for two touchdowns and made three PAT atttempts Friday during a 20-6 win over rival St. Joe.

Dylan Elkins
WR (Washington School)
Washington School’s Dylan Elkins had six catches for 82 yards Friday night.

Willie Mosby
Greenville-Weston’s Willie Mosby had 92 pasing yards and a touchdown, scored on a two-point conversion attempt, and tallied six tackles on defense Friday night.

Todd Lott era at GWHS begins with 15-14 win over Gentry

CUTLINE: An GWHS assistant coach gives a little advice to Demarious Pearson during Friday's 15-14 victory over Gentry.

GREENVILLE – Both Todd Lott and Jerry Walker walked onto Kerg Field Friday night leading their respective football team for the first time in a regular season game.
At 7:30 p.m., they both were excited.
By 10 p.m., only one would be left smiling.
And that was Todd Lott, who led the Hornets to a 15-14 season-opening victory over new Gentry head coach Walker and the Rams.
Despite a late first half mishap and two interceptions, GHWS used a stout running game (110 rushing yards) and a stingy defense to get their first win of the season. The GWHS defense gave up only 71 total yards.
Lott hopes the win will put a spark under a Hornet team who lost to Gentry 27-0 last year.
“It’s important that these kids experience some success. And we’re glad we were able to do that,” said Lott, who for the first time in 20 years wasn’t on the Washington School sideline.
The emphasis for both teams was clearly to run the ball. And run it often.
GWHS had 36 rushing attempts for 110 yards, while Gentry’s stalled run game was held to 27 yards on 18 attempts.
The Hornets got a chunk of that yardage on the opening play of the fourth quarter when fullback Terrell Williams darted through the middle and scampered down the sidelines for a 30-yard touchdown to give GWHS a 15-6 lead.
“I just used my eyes and bounced it to the outside and scored for my teammates,” said Williams, who also added eight tackles (2.5 for losses) while playing linebacker.
The Hornets held a strong nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter; however, the game was still young. Less than five minutes later, Gentry’s Bobby Walker was dancing in the endzone after a touchdown pass from Kemong Crawford. Mississippi State commit Rufus Warren’s stretching two-point conversion catch brought the Rams within one, 15-14, with less than seven minutes to play.
There were several heat timeouts during the 2 ½ hour game, but Gentry players and coaches didn’t heat up until late in the fourth quarter when Gentry’s 6-foot-3, 285 pound lineman Orlando Martin was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for standing over GWHS running back Donald Jackson after a hard hit. The hit cost the Rams 15 yards and the game.
Gentry players and coaches were visibly heated as they watched the clock tick down to the final seconds due to the call.
Despite how the game ended, Walker said his team played their heart out.
“I think our kids showed some resolve tonight,” said Walker, who coached his first game regular season game at Gentry since leaving his alma mater, Ray Brooks. “That’s one thing we were hoping to do coming into the game – see how well they would handle adversity.”
The Hornets got their first touchdown of the season in the second quarter when quarterback Willie Mosby found a streaking Jimmy Goodman for a 46-yard score. Afterwards, Mosby scored on the two-point conversion, giving the Hornets an 8-0 lead. GWHS would’ve went into halftime with the same lead, but a late second quarter Mosby interception led to a 39-yard touchdown catch by the 6-foot-5 MSU commit Warren.
The Hornets’ sprits took a hit, but not for long.
GWHS’s shifty receiver Demarious Pearson had two catches for 18 yards and had an interception while playing cornerback. Curtis Carter also had an interception.
Mosby finished 5-for-16 for 92 yards and a touchdown to go along with two interceptions.
GWHS will be at home again Friday to take on Clarksdale at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lazarius Chase: DDT Preseason Def. Player of the Year

HOLLANDALE – Last week in a preseason game against Forest Hill, a Patriot running back thought he could make it down the sidelines before the nearest defender could reach him.
Either he overestimated his speed, or he forgot that Lazarius Chase was on the field. Whichever it was, it was a bad decision. The bruising Simmons High linebacker chased him down and – in his own way – introduced him to the Delta.
But Chase, a 6-foot, 220 pound senior, isn’t just a one-play wonder; he has a full body of work to back him up.
And for that reason, he’s been named the first-ever Delta Democrat Times’ Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Last year, Chase racked up nearly 100 tackles to go along with six sacks. The Blue Devils finished 10-2 before falling to Ackerman in the Class 2A playoffs. This season, will be different, Chase hopes.
“We want to accomplish a state championship,” said Chase, who added that he’s received interest from several colleges including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt Jackson State and Alcorn State.
Simmons is known statewide for their stingy defense. However, last year’s defensive leader Carlos Thompson is now playing at Ole Miss. But the Blue Devils have a crew ready to step up to the plate, said Chase.
“I want us to have the best defense like we have the last five years that I’ve been playing,” he said.
Along with Thompson’s leadership, SHS will be without the 14 sacks he racked up last year. But Blue Devil coach – and Thompson’s father – Carlos Thompson, Sr. believes Chase and the rest of the team have what it takes to pick up the load.
“Some of the fans may think (the team) is on (Chase’s) back, but the way they’ve been working and performing, I think (Carlos, Jr.) and that group more so left a trademark. And these guys are trying to follow up on that trademark.
“They don’t want to be the one’s to let it down. We had nine shutouts last year and I think this group wants the same thing…..I think (this year’s team) is springing forward to live up to what they have.”
And what they have may be one of the state’s best hidden gems. Chase said he’s heard about some of Mississippi’s other prep linebackers getting recognized, and he feels he belongs right in that group of prospects.
“I think I’m neck-to-neck (amongst them),” Chase said. “I have potential – like a lot of people say – and I feel like I’m probably better than some of those players that’s top-ranked.
“But I’m going to let my actions talk for me.”
Chase directs the defense from his middle linebacker spot, but he’s been known to make plays on offense and special teams as well.
“We’re able to use him in all facets of the game. We’re able to use him offensively and defensively. And sometimes we use him on special teams because he has played it before,” said coach Thompson. “He’s like a utility player. But we like him most at middle linebacker.”
The Blue Devils have a host of seniors this year to help Chase carry the load, but he’s knows as he goes – so does the team.
“I feel like I’m the leader of the defense. Most of the guys look up to me as a big brother just like I did Carlos (Jr.) last year.”

Eric Brozovich: DDT Preseason Off. Player of the Year

GREENVILLE — Earlier this year, Eric Brozovich was the main ingredient to the Washington School baseball team’s success — earning them a spot in the MAIS playoffs.
The 6-foot-1, 180 pound senior was the Generals’ ace and was the go-to pitcher in time of need.
But this time around, Brozovich isn’t being recognized for his fastball, but for his talent on the gridiron.
He’s guided Washington School to back-back-back football titles, including a 34-7 victory over Pillow in the championship game last year.
Due to Brozovich’s remarkable work on the field, he’s earned the spot as cover boy for this special section and named the Delta Democrat Times Preaseaon Offensive Player of the Year.
Brozovich said he’s hasn’t made up his mind yet about which sport is in his near future.
“If I’m going to a bigger college, I’ll probably be playing baseball,” said Brozovich, whose brother, Billy, currently plays golf for Ole Miss.
“But you never know. Things could change. Maybe I could end up playing football (at a large university) if things work out there. Either one.”

Washington School’s new head coach Phillip Wasson has coached numerous quarterbacks in his time at various high schools. But said he sees something different in Brozovich compared to the others.
“Basically, he’s a coach on the field,” said Wasson. “He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever coached. And he’s a great teammate and team player. He’s a good kid, good person.
Despite winning two consecutive state titles, some people think the Generals will have a tougher route to a third title due to several key players graduating.
Brozovich doesn’t see it that way.
“It’s kind of put a chip on our shoulders. Everybody thinks this is a rebuilding year,” he said. “But we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Stovall given double duties at GWHS

GREENVILLE — Greenville-Weston High girls basketball coach Curtis Stovall has lead the Honeybees to at least 19 wins the last three seasons. In March, led by Ole Miss signee Breanna Lewis, GWHS marched all the way to the title game in Jackson, before being shut down by Horn Lake 40-28.
Greenville public school officials now hope Stovall’s success with girls team will rub off on the boys squad as well.
At a school board meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Dr. Harvey Franklin said that Stovall has been named Greenville-Weston’s “interim” boys coach for this upcoming season. He will also continue to coach the girls team as well, along with his teaching duties at the school.
“It’s just a good fit for what we’re trying to do,” said Franklin.
Stovall could not be reached for comment by press time.
Athletic Director David Barrow said Stovall’s background made him a good hire for the position.
“He has coached in playoff games. And he has experience coaching both girls and boys,” said Barrow. “He’ll also bring some stability. And that’s what we need right now.”
Barrow and Franklin, however, made it clear that hire is on an interim basis only. The search is still ongoing for a permanent coach.
“This is just on an interim basis,” said Barrow. “The long-term search is still open.”
Stovall will take over for Ernie Watson who left for Hattiesburg High in May. The Hornets advanced to the state tournament each of the three years Watson coached at GWHS.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Warren West's fight to revamp RHS football doesn't compare to his previous bout: starting over Katrina

AVON — The total number of direct and indirect deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina was 1,836.
If not for a strange set of circumstances, Riverside High football coach Warren West and his family might have made it 1,839.
Two days prior to the deadly hurricane, West's father-in-law died, forcing his wife and son, Grant, to travel from their home in Pass Christian back to Greenville for the funeral.
Meanwhile, West, who was an assistant coach at Pass Christian at the time, stayed home to coach the Pirates in their Friday night game against Florence. They won the game 34-26, and afterwards West made his way to Greenville to be with his family.
After an emotional funeral on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005, the West's had no idea that the worst was far from over.
That night, he was without a father-in-law. By the morning, he had no home.
"We lost everything (because of Hurricane Katrina)," said the 1977 Lakeside High (Ark.) alum, who is entering his first year back at RHS. "Pictures, records, everything was gone. The vast majority of people get to pack some things up. We only had the clothes we brought to Greenville."
What he saw when he returned to Pass Christian was surreal, said West.
"You get out of your truck and walk a block or two, and wonder what's left of your house — and all you see is a concrete slab," he recalled.
A weekend stay in Greenville for his wife ended up lasting six months. And just a week after the brutal storm, he got a phone call from the head coach.
"He called and said, 'I talked to the superintendent, and we're going back to school,'" West recalled.
"I said you gotta be kidding, there's nothing left in town," he continued.
But it was no joke.
Just two weeks after the entire coast was nearly wiped away, the Pirates were back — in a sense.
"We went house-to-house trying to find the (players)," said West. "We were able to come up with about 20 kids to play 4A football — and two or three of those were junior high players. (Two weeks prior) we had 48 in our win against Florence."
But the number of players wasn't the only obstacle standing in their way. They had no stadium, no equipment, and nowhere to practice.
But in an effort to make the best out of a bad situation, the Pirates accepted an offer to practice at an old "warehouse" belonging a local businessman.
"It was really a cow pasture," he recalled. "There were no lines, no chalk, no paint. We didn't have anything.
"We cleaned out the rooms and made them into coach offices. The kids had to get dressed in folding chairs. And we had two volleyball stands that we rolled together and made that our upright (for kicking)."
Unfortunately, due to a lack of players and knee injuries to both the quarterback and running back, the Pirates went 0-7 through the rest of the 2005 season.
Afterwards, West left Pass Christian en route to San Antonio, Texas where he coached for two seasons. He then came back to the coast to coach at St. Martin, Perry Central and Mercy Cross.
Now he's back to where it all started — the Delta.
"It was a hard move for my family. My wife had a good job, good friends. It was tough to leave them," he recalled. "But it's good to come home. I wanted my little boy to be close to his grandma."
West said he rarely talks about his past experiences, but his sister has brought up the idea of writing a book about it all. As for now, West said he's hasn't made up his about that just yet.
"You see so many things, so many people go through so much adversity. It's really hard to sit down and put it into words," he said.
So many people saw it on television and saw the pictures and ask 'boy, it must have been bad. How bad was it? But it's hard to explain.
"The best explanation I've heard was that it looked like a bomb went off. A bomb went off all the way across the Mississippi coast."
Riverside is scheduled to begin their season in less than two weeks on Aug. 20 against rival St. Joseph — a team West once coached.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Shaw superintendent: baseball, track will not be funded

SHAW — When the spring rolls around, there may be an awkward silence on the Shaw High School athletic fields.
Reason being, baseball and track and field will not be funded by the school district, according to Superintendent Cederick Ellis.
“For the 2010-2011 school year, the Shaw School District has adequate funding to maintain its football and basketball programs, Ellis wrote in an e-mail. “Band is also an extracurricular activity that will be offered for our students.”
This, however, won’t be the first time Shaw residents have had to deal with a sports cut. Last year, baseball and track were cut during an October board of trustees meeting. Residents then raised the funds to keep the sports going.
Ellis said he is confident that the same will happen this go around.
Ellis added that the main reason behind the cuts is the insufficient amount of funds distributed by the state.
As for the amount the district has to spend, there is $15,00 available for “general athletic supplies” for all sports, which does not include coaching supplements, Ellis stated.
“You’re limited as your budget,” Ross Saddler, Shaw School District business manager, told the Bolivar Commercial. “This ($15,000) covers all sports.”
Shaw isn’t the only school district struggling to sustain sports, while taking deep cuts in funding. The Greenville Public School District recently suspended six sports, due to an $163,000 dip in the athletic budget. The sports have since been re-instated and funds are being raised to fund them for the 2010-11 school year.
Greenville school officials have hinted that more cuts are possible without additional funding.
Ellis said as long as they don’t take another hit, he doesn’t expect any more cuts in sports.
“(We’re) confident that we will be able to maintain the sports currently available if we don’t experience additional budget cuts from the state,” he wrote.