August 23, 2009
Here We Go Again…again
by Carey Meitzler
Okay. Let's get that All Sports Passes, the new reserved parking spot, and a new shirt with Maroon Tide plastered on it. Yep,
it's time for another season of Maroon Tide football. Last year, I wrote about all the constants, but I don't plan to chew my
cabbage twice. If you forgot what they were, click here (Here We Go Again…2008)
The 2008 season produced a lot of excitement for the Maroon Tide Nation in spite of ending the season at Wayne County
once again. In fact, 3 of the last 4 seasons have ended in Waynesboro. More on that in a minute.
First, I have to make note of a few of the “regulars” who are quite excited about the upcoming season.
Dwight Bond and I discussed how the new Region alignment for the Maroon Tide will produce a quality opponent each week
unlike the past few years where there were weeks when it was over when the doors of the locker room opened up. Dwight
said “as a fan I want to see us play the best teams out there. I get tired of blowouts.” I agree.
At the Meet the Tide event, I talked with long time, card-carrying Maroon Tide Nation member Richard Huber. Richard no
doubt had on his OU hat and a Maroon Tide shirt (see the picture below). Richard had scoop on just about every team on
the schedule. He must have access to one of the Secret Service long distance, supped up listening devices mounted on a satellite
in the sky to eavesdrop on our opponents to have all the info he was reeling off to me as we talked. Come to think of it, that
Smoothie he was holding was making some strange noises. Maybe it wasn't a Smoothie. What if that straw was an antenna Richard
uses to uplink to a satellite to download conversations from Waynesboro, Soso, Brookhaven, McComb, and Wiggins.
What if that cup has a hard drive inside and a built in Windows Media player? Regardless of how he does, a true fan does his
homework and Richard gets an A+ to go with his OU.
Richard Huber….Boomer Sooner and Roll Tide in the same package.
Former Maroon Tide player and father of two former Tide players, Jeff Robbins had this insight. “Carey, you hear
me now son, this might be the toughest schedule the Maroon Tide has played since the 2003 season or maybe
longer than that. No slouches.” Jeff also said there is some talent on this team that we may not see until near
the end of the season, meaning some younger players who Jeff thinks will play bigger and bigger roles as the season
The “new” Touchdown Club is a very nice change of pace. This group consists of a good cross section of parents,
fans, business leaders, and former players. The membership is growing daily and some of their initiatives appear to
be well received thus far. Keep it going and growing. I look for great things from these folks this season and in the
The new alignment of the new 6A and a revamped 5A classification puts the Maroon Tide in the toughest region
of any class in the state in my opinion. West Jones (ranked #1 preseason poll for 5A) and Wayne County (#2)
await the Maroon Tide to close out the regular season. We have to go to SoSo (West Jones) and finally get
Wayne County in Picayune for the finale. At least we get 'em at home for a change. By the way, Wayne County
installed the new spin turf (artificial turf) in the offseason.
On Wayne County and West Jones, I will make this prediction. Picayune will have to play one and possibly both
of these teams twice to get out of the South and punch a ticket to Jackson in December. Brookhaven and Stone
will have something to say about the outcome of Region 3-5A as well. McComb, Forest Hill, and Pearl River
Central round out the region. The non- Region games of Moss Point, FCAHS, and Pascagoula will give the Tide
some good stiff competition to get ready for the Region.
The Maroon Tide team returns a lot of speed and a gutsy quarterback with nerves of steel. Senior Jacob Kennedy
passed for over 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2008. He has the speedy Jonathan Moore back at receiver.
Junior running back Jamal “Bus No. 2” Hall is back after a stellar sophomore campaign last season. A couple of
other players to watch are seniors Jarrod Jones, DeAmbry Jackson, Brandon Lee, Chris Burton, and Wayne McMooain.
Juniors Joel Davis and Maurice Jones will play big roles on both sides of the line of scrimmage while Kresean
Bowens will join Jackson and Lee to give the Maroon Tide another solid offensive line. I believe this team will be
able to score enough points to play with anybody on the schedule. I know that Coach Dodd Lee and his staff will
have the troops ready to play as they do every year. Count on it. This team will be fun to watch.
Head Coach Dodd Lee's additions of assistant coaches Russell Mitchell and Cody Stogner the past two years
strengthened the staff. Long time staff members Gen Breeland, Brian Edwards,Walt Esslinger, and John “The
Undertaker” Feaster are back as well. This is good group and I respect what they do every year with our team.
This season starts without Johnny Meyers (retired) and Seth Smith (now at Pearl River Central). I really liked
these guys and as a parent who had a son pass through the program, Meyers and Smith treated me and my family
extremely well. Best of luck to both of these two fine men in their daily endeavors.
Speaking of Feaster, he still looks like he could suit up and play. He will always be one of my favorite players.
Additionally, what a fine man, a role model, and a class act Feaster is. If you don't like John Feaster, you don't know
him. If you don't know him, it's your loss. My son still talks about how much he learned from John and because of that
and some hard-core conditioning, Dale will once again be in the starting line-up at linebacker at Mississippi College this fall.
The Choctaws' schedule is much more favorable for traveling this year so I may not be in line to file my taxes in Texas this
time around. Six home games in Clinton!!!!!
I will return for the WRJW 1320 AM broadcasts this season as well as Barry Harper and Donald Balch. Yes, I am back.
I honestly had hung it up when I signed off last year at Wayne County. I had not told anyone of my decision at that
time and it caught Barry and Donald off guard. When I looked back, I had the privilege to call so many good games
for so many good players that I was ready to take some time off. Barry talked me out of it starting with this statement
at the McDonald's drive through in Waynesboro on the way home from the last game of the 2008 season. “You mean
you are going to miss Jacob Kennedy's senior year throwing to Jonathan Moore? What about Bus No 2 ? I think you
need to reconsider." I did and I am now rejuvenated and ready to go for another season of late nights, long drives,
and great high school football.
So, get ready Maroon Tide Nation because in a few short days, Here We Go Again…again.
Roll Tide Roll.