September 22, 2006: Pearl River Central (2-2, 0-0) at Picayune (4-0, 1-0)
Dear Maroon Tide Nation:
My wife and I, along with the Lambert family, made the trek to Bay St. Louis this past Friday night. We had a fun
weather was pleasant, conversation was good, and the food was awesome. Everything
was going great
until we arrived at the stadium. That's when I found out that the scoreboard was not working. I almost went into
Some watch the scoreboard to keep up with the score, while and others watch to keep up with the game time.
The NFL even
has a 2-minute warning. Well, I have my own a 2-minute warning myself.
My 2-minute warning doesn't take place at the end of the game, it takes place at the end of the first half. Here's
works. With 2 minutes to go in the first half, I make my move. Now, the move
is not as fast as Albert
Richard, not as physical as Levi Slaydon, and not as cerebral as a Micah Hickman. None the less, it's my move.
I work my way past the crowds to the concession stand to get my half-time hotdog (sometimes half-time hamburger)
and my halftime Coke (sometimes Diet Coke). You see, 2 minutes gives me plenty of time to make my way, nod
to people, have short conversations, get my stuff, eat it on the way back to my seat in time to watch the Maroon
You can understand now why I was upset about the scoreboard not working. Was it a coincidence or was it very
convenient for the home team's scoreboard to be out of order when a high-powered visiting offense comes to town?
I wonder if the Rockachaws would have ever taken the lead, if the scoreboard would have miraculously come to life?
wonder. Well, upon my short return trip home after the game from the Bay, I
got my hotdog (maybe I got 2 hotdogs).
I played in a game at Delta State one Saturday afternoon when the clock quit working right before halftime. Our
captain had to ask the referee after every play how much time was left. After
a goal-line stand, I came
running off the field very excited. We were about to win a game and we didn't win many during the 4 years I was at Delta
You could just imagine the frame of mind I was in. It was at this exact time
our defensive coordinator asked me to
ask the referee what the time was. I ran back on to the field and I got the time, then I went back to the side line to my
coach and answered, "It's a quarter to four, sir." I told this story Saturday morning on our weekly radio show. It really
cracked Mr. Meitzler up. Now I must fess up. I made the whole thing up. But one would have to agree that it is a funny
One day, in the right environment, and around the right people, I'll
tell this story as a true story.
Let's talk a little Maroon Tide football. I've been watching Picayune High School play football since 1982. I've seen a lot
of great plays and great players. I was there in 1986 when we won the whole thing. I was there the next year when we
were picked to win it all, but the wheels came off. The point I'm trying to make is I have watched a lot of high school
football, most of it Maroon Tide football. This year's team has the best chemistry of any high school team I've ever
watched. I feel this is due to great senior leadership.
Senior leadership means teaching the younger guys to play hard on every play. It teaches every one that it is not
important who gets the credit as long as the job gets done. These teachings promote trust among teammates.
Trust teaches players not to worry about other positions, but to concentrate on their position. Trust teaches players
not to worry about making a mistake, because they learn that if they make a mistake, their teammate will pick them
up. This chemistry is very evident among Maroon Tide defense. It seems like these guys are never out of place.
Whether it's a run up the middle, a run outside, or a pass, our defenders are always in position. I'm sure glad I don't
get by these guys when I make my concession stand run.
This Friday night is a big one. No, it's not a state championship game, or even a playoff game. It is however, a game
that the losers will be reminded for the rest of their lives by their cross-county buddies about the season of 2006.
You see, when we lose to other teams, we normally don't have any contact with those people the rest of our lives.
when two high schools in the same county , and only 6 miles apart, play-- we
have contact with these people
the rest of our lives. We go to college with these people, we work with these people, we move in the same neighbor-
these people, we go to the family reunions with these people, and heck, we even
marry some of these
people. So what we need to remember this Friday night, is that we are competing with neighbors, friends, and in
family. Let me remind both school districts, lets have a hard-fought football
game, cheerleaders can
cheer hard, the bands can try and outdo one another, but when it's over, we've got to remember we're all still from
County. I've got to go, see ya'll at the stadium Friday night.
As I grow older, I realize that I have become much more tolerable of situations to make people around me feel good.
For example, last Saturday, when Barry was telling his “quarter to four” clock story, I thought it sounded fishy, but I didn't
want to hurt his feelings on the air, so I chuckled like I bought it. You know, go with the flow and so forth. I have to admit,
it was amusing and it was possible, however, one thing didn't add up. Ol' Wedge Buster mentioned a goal line
stand. Now, if someone was grilling hot dogs or a burger, he might put up a “concession line stand”. But, the Wedge
Buster for a play guy part of a goal line stand? That was a dead giveaway.
Now, his account of his halftime exploits are definitely true. I recall when he was still doing the game broadcasts with me
years ago, he would always leave at halftime while I was conducting an interview, get in line to get some food, and
wander back to press box pretending like he “visited” with all kinds of folks, never mentioning that he was partaking
of some food while I was still working full tilt. Once, at a home game with an overflow crowd vs Petal, he missed the
first couple of plays of the second half. When he returned, he quipped “Man, they must have run that clock real fast.”.
Poor clock management on you ol' boy. The mustard stain on his chin gave it away that he was munching instead of
visiting. I never mentioned it until now that he didn't fool me that night. I think that was the night I started the tolerance
thing with him.
As for last weeks' game, the Maroon Tide jumped out early and then finally wore down a very good St Stanislaus team.
Micah Hickman and Justin Griffith hooking up for the two early scores allowed our defense to “pin their ears back” and
the results were Nick Porter and Courtney McDougle recording sack after sack. Ben Luther got in on the action as well
collecting his first varsity sack. As always, Levi Slaydon was all over the place with about a dozen tackles.
Irving Gonzalez put on a show with his point after kicks. ESPN's Boomer (Chris Berhman) would have had a lot of fun
with his “Back, back, back, back, its gone!!!” as the football was flying out of Brother Phillip Stadium like one of former
Braves' star Dale Murphy's home runs disappearing at the old Fulton County Stadium, a.k.a. the Launching Pad.
This week is the toughest game of the year for me to broadcast. Even with a son in a Maroon Tide uniform, I still want good
things to happen for the Blue Devils. The Herrins (Adam and Blake) and the Bakers (Josh and Silas) are people we have
shared a lot of good times with over the years in PYAA baseball and softball. I want them to do well each and every time out,
but you also want your son's team to win, thus the dilemma. Like Hot Dog Harper said, we are all family here in Pearl River
County and hopefully no one will lose that perspective this Friday.
As for what to look for from PRC, the Blue Devils are a much more disciplined team this year that the past few years mainly
because of influence of new head coach Jeremy Weir. Jeremy is a fine person, served our country honorably, and is
a good football coach. He has assembled a good coaching staff around him and his teams will only get better.
With the decision of Mike Lehmann to concentrate on baseball and forego his senior season of football, sophomore
Blake Herrin (5-11, 165) is the quarterback for now and the future. Blake is no stranger to varsity action having made
his debut in the baseball playoffs last year against Petal as a relief pitcher. He came in and did a good job and has
done a solid job thus far at QB. The strength of the Blue Devils (2-2, 0-0) is their running backs: Ram Miller (6-1,180, Sr)
and Warren House (5-11,180, Sr). Miller, a transfer from Chalmette, has 8 TDs thus far. House has 4 TDs. The Blue
Devil kicking game is solid with senior Adam Herrin (6-1, 175, Sr) handling both the punting and placekicking.
Picayune (4-0, 1-0) has shown a lot of balance on offense this year and looks to continue that trend. Behind the good
push up front from the Ground Hogs (James Brady, Huey Stockstill, Tommy Dillard, Thor Newbold, Jon Billups) have
enabled Albert Richard (5-9, 165, Jr) to rush for 552 yards on 82 attempts with 9 TDs. Micah Hickman (5-10, 188, Sr)
has attempted 31 passes with 16 completions for 3 TDs. Justin Griffith (6-3, 175, Sr.) has 9 catches with all three TDs.
The Maroon Tide defense has been suffocating at times allowing very little real estate to opposing offenses. The bookends
of Jake Martinez (6-3, 190, Jr) and Nick Porter (6-0, 205, Jr.) along with linebacker Levi Slaydon (6-3, 230, Sr), defensive
tackles Glen Agnelly (6-1, 265, Sr), and Steven Kellar (5-11, 190, Sr) have led lead the charge up front. Chance Griffith
(5-10, 175, Sr.), T'Darryl Greys (5-10, 160, Soph), and Drew Cole (5-10, 175, Jr.) have been solid in the secondary.
The key to this weeks' game will be which team can control their emotion and turn it into a focused effort once the game
begins. Come early if you want a seat. And if you want a snack at halftime, start your journey early before Halftime Harper
gets moving. Maybe the clock will be working this time.