Saturday, 2/17/07

Accolades & Kudos That Are Well Deserved

by Carey Meitzler

First and foremost, congratulations to Coach Daniel Kennedy, his team, and his staff for winning the Region 8-4A championship.

No one gave them a chance except for a few of us die hards and themselves. There are others I want to mention as well, but first,

let's finish the thoughts on Coach Kennedy and the team.

Coack K himself told me a couple of weeks ago during an interview after the last regular season region game, that he too was a

little surprised with the way they have played, but at the same time, he realizes how hard this group has worked.   Last night,

Coach K gave credit to the players and his coaching mentor, Dean Shaw.  Kennedy never takes credit for much of anything for

himself.  That's leadership: give credit and praise to those around you when things go well and take the blame when things don't

go well.  At least he hasn't had to do the later very much this year. 

Region 8-4A Honors

Coach K was chosen Coach of the Year by his peers in Region 8-4A.  That's a no brainer when you consider he inherited no

starters, one senior with limited playing experience, and another senior role player who hasn't played in three years.  Coach K

has led them to the Region championship and an impressive 26-5 record.  This junior-laden squad has great chemistry and most

importantly, they do not care who gets the glory, the points, the press coverage, and so on.  Bottom line is the fact that everyone

understands their role on this team. Juniors Ben Daly, Chris Dees, Brandon Fortenberry, and senior Wayne Mickel were selected

to the All Region 8-4A team that was announced last night after the Championship game. 

Picayune Item coverage

Picayune Item Sports Editor Curtis Rockwell turned it up a notch and provided great coverage of all the local teams (PRC,

Poplarville, Picayune) the entire week in the Item.  Curtis was there when some of the games were out of hand, but he stuck it

out to get the stories and quotes from the coaches.  Keep up the good work, Rock.  See you Tuesday at the Kelly Wise.

Pass Christian administration

The tournament was a well run event.  The table crew (clock operator Betty Cornelison & scorer Toni Cook) stayed on top of

things and there was never any controversy surrounding their work.  Both Betty and Toni are a pleasure to sit by at games.

I enjoyed some very interesting conversations during commercial breaks and between games. The hospitality room for coaches,

administrators, and the media was nicely done with an excellent array of food.  Their overall facility is one of the best around these

parts, and if things pan out like I think they will, we will probably be back their next Thursday for the South State 4A Boys tournament.

Let's keep our fingers crossed.  

The Crowds

Host Pass Christian's fans turned out in great numbers and with a lot of enthusiasm.  Their cheerleaders, students, and fans really

got into their games.  It reminded me of the way we used to be in years past.  St Stanislaus was not far behind either as they

brought a lot of folks and had the best cheerleading squad (from their sister school Our Lady Academy) I've seen at any high

school basketball games.  They were good and really added a lot to the games.

Picayune's crowd was small, but vocal.  Other than the parents and relatives, the old faithfuls were there: Dwight Bond and his

wife, Vernon Pigott and his crew, and the gym rat of the year, Rob Woodall.  Rob, pictured below at a road game in Pearl River,

LA), to my knowledge, has not missed a game this year.   Also, a bunch of PRC Blue Devils are to be thanked for their support. 

Donna and Graylon Spiers, Reggie Ladner and his crew, and a few others that I don't know by name were there pulling for the

Maroon Tide.  Thank you all.  Hope to see you at Kelly Wise Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday.  Bring some friends if you can.