November 10, 2008

Good Football Anyone ?

by Carey Meitzler

Some people have asked me numerous times “why haven't you been writing a weekly commentary this season?” 

Well, time has become limited due to a lot of factors including the traveling watching Dale (my oldest) play on

Saturdays for Mississippi College.  As I predicted in my pre-season “Here We Go Again” commentary,  I have truly

seen miles and miles of Texas these past nine weeks while making some new friends in other MC parents.  I have

driven over 5,400 miles, flew to Dallas twice and still had to drive 330 plus miles on those trips, and can tell you a

lot about the Texas hill country if you are interested.   I can also tell you exactly how far it is from Clinton to every

town along Highway 49.  All in all, I wouldn't change it for anything. I never got to really enjoy Dale's playing when

he played for the Maroon Tide like I am enjoying it now at MC.   In fact, I enjoy both radio and watching more now

than ever.

I received an email today from a good friend and he later called and we had a nice conversation.  We talked about

the last game our boys played together in high school, which was at Wayne County in 2006.  We both reflected on

what a great game it was and looking back, how much you have to respect the Wayne County program.   

After our talk and sharing a few laughs about some of Barry, Donald, and my exploits on the radio this year,

I felt the urge to write a little something about this week's game at Wayne County.  The Maroon Tide will

try to do something very few have done; win a playoff game at Wayne County.  It's a tall order.  Just ask anyone

who has tried. There are reasons few have been able to beat the War Eagles in their place.


Home field atmosphere is huge.  I don't use the word field because at Waynesboro it is so much more than just

about anywhere else I've been to cover games. Their fans create an atmosphere that is hard to match anywhere.

Much like ours in the Maroon Tide Nation, Wayne County's folks are very vocal, but when they have 7 to 8 thousand

wearing orange and blue, it can be quite intimidating  If Allen Hickman can bring his whole family and some of his

church members, we might make a small dent, but otherwise, we are out-numbered from the get go. The whole

experience at Wayne County is like going to a good small college environment. Pregame festivities alone are

something else with the tailgating, their band, and a whole lot of other stuff. It is very unique.


Coaching is important. They have had the likes of Bubba Davis, Bobby Hall, and currently Marcus Boyles.  They

have a built a solid foundation. Their schemes and preparation have proven to be very good, and throw in the talent

they seem to have every year, it's no wonder they are so successful.


As for media coverage, they have it all. TV replay of games, Sharpie and his crew do a good job on their radio and

internet streaming, and Wayne County probably has the best newspaper coverage for a single team you'll find

anywhere in the state courtesy of Paul Keane. Their PA announcer and his music are pretty cool as well. Winning

consistently and a few state championships will do wonders for your coverage.


Last time we played in 2006 was a good game with a bevy of talented players on both sides.  I know of 12 players

combined playing college football right now that played in that game.  Wayne County was 12-0 and number 1 in 4A,

while Picayune was 11-0 and ranked #2. They both played like it in front of about 9,000. If you were there, you

got your money's worth and then some as Wayne County won 39-31 and went on to win a South State and Class

4A state championship.   I made some mistakes in the heat of the game, but clearly stated my faults on this site

shortly after and have moved on to hopefully be a better person and be an example to others the importance of

admitting when you make a mistake and avoid repeating it again.  God is good all the time when we let Him in.

As for this years' teams, both can run it and throw it.  I know that is an old cliché, but the team that can defend

better will win. That said, if either team can get at least three stops (three downs and force a punt in each half),

I'll put my coins on them to win this game.


As for the Maroon Tide, we need to win one of these type games, whether against Wayne County or something

else, to get over the hump. Coach Lee and his staff do a good job year in, year out, and a win of this magnitude

would be an enormous boost for them and for the entire MT Nation.  As I said last week on the FNUTL

Scoreboard Show with Russ Robinson, we need to “play a near perfect game to beat them.” Some say this

is the best team Wayne County has had.  If true, that says a lot, especially when you look at what they have

had in years past.


So let's hope and pray for a good, safe trip, and a good game where everyone walks away in a good frame of

mind on both sides. After all, in perspective, it's not as important as servicemen and families in harm's way,

people fighting sickness, families in disarray due to the downturn in the economy, and so forth. I am not trying

to dampen your spirits by now means, because for 3 hours or so, these two teams and bands will give us all

a chance to have a small dose of amnesia for everything that ails us in our daily lives. Football won't cure it,

only Jesus Christ can and we get His help through prayer. It is my hope and prayer that God will Bless You

and Yours in the days ahead.