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October 13, 2006: Picayune (7-0, 4-0) at Bay High (1-6, 0-4)

Barry Harper

Dear Maroon Tide Nation:

UNDEFEATED!  The Big 7 and 0.  We have run the table so far this year.  As a matter of fact, after our first game of the year, 

we really haven't been challenged.  Think about it.  As I was approaching the stadium this past Friday night, I started to get excited. 

I was thinking that our game against Long Beach might be a close one.  You know, at least until the fourth quarter.  Well, I have

been wrong before and I was terribly wrong Friday night.  We took it to them pretty quick.  Before I made my concession stand

run it was over.  I thought this might be the type of game that I give up my hot dog fearing that I might miss the last two minutes of

the first half of a close high school football game.  Boy was I wrong!  If Dandy Don had have been there, he would have turned out

the lights in the middle of the first quarter.  It was over about as soon as it began.  There's a country song, the title and singer plum

evade me, but the chorus goes something like this, "you can't mail it in, you can't send it in." { and that's all I remember } 

Well as I think about this past Friday night game, wouldn't it been a lot easier for Long Beach just to mail that defeat to Picayune-

next day air of course.  It probably would not have gotten into the Saturday morning sport's page, but we would have gotten to

report it first on "THE MORNING AFTER".  Okay, ya'll get the message-enough of this.  I hope I don't have to go to Long Beach

anytime soon.  Maybe they don't have internet down there.

You know I can't write this week without talking about the physicality of this game.  Well, even though the Maroon Tide won big,

I thought Long Beach was one of the more physical teams that we have played this year.  I got on their case in the previous paragraph

for getting way behind in the first quarter, but I will give them a little credit.  They still played hard when they fell down 37-0.  The

Maroon Tide did not score in the second half.  First of all, they didn't have to.  Second of all, our coaching staff played a lot of kids

in the second half giving some starters a much needed rest.  When someone talks about the physicality of a certain team or certain game,

most of the time they are talking about the offensive or defensive lines.  You hardly ever hear people leave a game saying, "Man, that

quarterback was physical", or "that place-kicker was cracking some helmets tonight."  No when coaches, fans, or sports reporters

talk about physicalty, they are usually referring to the line.  Our line on both sides of the ball have won the war of the trenches each week. 

We've got good size, but we are not always the biggest line on the field.  What we do have is great technique which comes from good

coaching.  Our kids are in great shape.  I believe we won that Moss Point game because we were in better shape than they were.  I am

not saying Moss Point was in bad shape, I'm just saying we were in great shape for the first game of the year which brings up my next

point-summer workouts. 

The undefeated record is a direct connection with their summer work out program.  Not just the program itself, but the commitment

these young men made at the end of last year's season.  And not just the players either, the coaches have to be committed too.  It's

funny how you always hear that word commitment when you are talking about great players or teams.  Or even great hot dog eaters. 

I am committed.

Where do we go from here?  This week should be a victory for Picayune.  However, we can not take Bay St. Louis lightly.  They have

some talented skill players that almost beat us last year.  They remind me a lot of Pass Christian.  They can score, but have not been able

to stop anyone.  I am gonna go ahead and do it.  I'm gonna mail it in.  PICAYUNE 47----BAY ST LOUIS 12    That's my story and

I'm sticking to it, unless I come up with something better before deadline.  See ya Friday! 



Carey Meitzler

PHYSICAL.  That's exactly what the Maroon Tide was this past Friday in their 37-7 rout of Long Beach.  The Bearcats

were pretty stout, but when this bunch of Tidesmen get their mind focused, it's not much you can do about it on the other side of the

line.  Long Beach is talented and will still probably get in as the 3 or 4 seed from Region 8-4A.  I stated that Coach Lee and his

staff would have 'em ready. I also stated that the team that controlled the second half would win.  That was a misprint; meant to say

first half.  I mentioned field position.  Well, after their initial drive of the first half, Picayune started at the Long Beach 38, 41, 37, 43,

and 48 yard line.  The people on the west end of the home stands saw a lot of  football in 24 minutes. I said turnovers would dictate

this one and Picayune forced three in the first half.  It may have been the best half a Maroon Tide team has played in a long time,

maybe forever.

That was the good news. The bad news is that we will be without junior WR and backup QB Caleb Hickman for the rest of the season

due to an injury he suffered in the first quarter while blocking down field.  As he was blocking, the knee gave way and to make matters

worse, it appeared that a Long Beach defensive back rolled up on the back of his leg.  The result is that Caleb tore a ligament in his knee. 

Caleb has been a major part of the success this season. Let's all keep him in our prayers and hope for a good recovery. 

The Maroon Tide Nation was enjoying themselves none the less.  I looked over with the field glasses one time and Coach Richard

(that's Albert's dad) was dancing, not to Al Green mind you, but having a good time.  Mr. Richard is a fun guy to be around at the

games and at practice.  I think he'll be dancing some more before the season is over.

Albert Richard scampered for 4 scores against Long Beach running his season total to 20 touchdowns with over 1150 plus yards. 

He can run by you, around you, make you miss, dance, squirm, scoot, spin, hop, lunge, and sprint past everyone all with such grace. 

His nickname is "Smooth" according to Coach Richard.  Smooth knows that Jonathan Billups (6-1, 335, Soph), James Brady (6-3,

265, Sr.), Huey Stockstill (5-9, 190, Jr.), Thor Newbold (5-9, 225, Jr.) and Ben Luther (6-1, 265, Jr) were special this past week.

Last week, just before the game, I saw one of the Nation's most dedicated.  He had on his standard red OU cap.  He was attired

in one of his Picayune Maroon Tide shirts.  He was anxious for the game to get cranked up. You see, Richard Huber loves his

Maroon Tide.  If you get a chance, ask him about why he likes the Oklahoma Sooners (the OU hat).  He's been on the Sooner

Schooner for as long as I can remember. When it comes to Picayune games, Richard gets there as early as he can and mingles. 

He likes to get his pre-game survey in with other Picayune fans.   He's dedicated.  I am not sure how many games he has missed

in the past 20 years, but I bet you can count 'em on one hand.  I remember pulling up to George County one year and we looked

across the way at the visitors' stands and there were two people over there at 5:45pm for a 7:30pm kickoff.  One of them was

Richard; the other was a security guard.   He was surveying the situation and yes, he had on his OU cap.

With all the distractions going on this week with protests about weapons, nuclear testing, and the slow pace of rebuilding in New

Orleans, I am glad to be able to slip into a Friday with the Maroon Tide and put some of those local and world happenings on a back

burner.  That's one of the things that makes high school sports so great; a couple of hours to let your hair down (okay... my broadcast

partners Jason and Jeff  cannot do that with those smooth tops they have..) and holler, scream, jump, and dance.  I enjoy watching it

all from up top, but there's work to be done and I don't have time to make a run at the concession like some folks I know.

This week's game at the Bay High Tigers will be a mental challenge for the Tide.  I call it the "Tweener Game".  Coming off a solid win

over Long Beach and a possibly Region championship showdown on tap for next week with Poplarville, Picayune needs to be careful.

Bay High can salvage their whole season with a win over Picayune.  As the Ol' Wedge Buster mentioned above, Bay is talented on the

offensive side of the ball.  Tyler Brush (6-2, 190, Sr) has been fighting injuries all season long.  Their go to guy is Robert Labat ( 6-2,

185, Sr) who has caught four touchdowns.

Picayune's defense put the shackles on Long Beach rushing attack.  Levi Slaydon (6-3, 235, Sr) and Jake Martinez (6-3, 185, Jr.)

each had around 10 tackles each and a couple of TFLs (Tackles for Loss) as well.  But, a stellar performance early on by Steven Kellar

(5-11, 185, Sr) set the tone for Maroon Tide.  He was "Stellar Kellar". Here's a young man who last November broke his legs so bad

in a wreck that many wondered if he would be able to run or even walk normally.  You talk about working your tail off;  Steven is living

proof of the commitment this bunch has demonstrated.

Just like actor Bill Murray's dilemma in the movie, last week was another Ground Hog Day for the Maroon Tide. Same result with a

slightly different ending.  See you at McCullough Stadium in the Bay.

Roll Tide Roll.