2016 C Spire Conerly presentation slated for Clarksdale

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and C Spire will return to Clarksdale, the hometown of the award's namesake, Charlie Conerly, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to present the 2016 C Spire Conerly Trophy, which annually honors the state’s best college football player. The C Spire Conerly Trophy has been awarded since 1996, with this year marking its 21st anniversary.  The award is named in honor of the late Charlie Conerly, former Ole Miss and New York Giants quarterback. Conerly, a Clarksdale native, was an All-American at Ole Miss...

Cleveland Joining Mississippi Today

  By Bill Blackwell I am sure most of you are aware by now that Rick Cleveland, our former Executive Director is going back to the profession he loves, journalism. Rick started writing professionally at the tender age of 13 and has been gracing us with his wit and wisdom ever sense. Almost 5 years ago Michael Rubenstein, our first Executive Director passed away and our Board of Directors wisely chose Rick to take the reins of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Running a non-profit is never...

Cleveland headed to Mississippi Today as columnist

Rick Cleveland, former executive director and current historian for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, is headed back into sports writing full-time. Cleveland will join the on-line news publication Mississippi Today as a sports columnist beginning Sept. 1. He will continue to write a weekly column for Mississippi newspapers syndicated through the Mississippi Press Association. “Obviously, I have mixed emotions about leaving the MSHOF, which I believe so strongly in,” said Cleveland, who became the museum's second executive director in April of 2012. “I am proud of the improvements we...

Kent Hull Golf Tournament set Sept. 15 at Deerfield

The third annual Kent Hull Memorial Golf Tournament, sponsored by the Kent Hull Foundation, will be held Sept. 15 at Deerfield Golf Club. The four-man scramble tournament is a fund-raiser that goes to support the annual Kent Hull Trophy for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and for Blair E. Batson UMMC Candlelighters. Last year, The Hull Foundation donated $14,000 to UMMC Candlelighters. The late Kent Hull, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, was a four-year football standout at Mississippi State, who became Pro Bowl and Super Bowl...

Mossy Oak Golf Club, a golf masterpiece in the making…

WEST POINT — In 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto's expedition passed through or near here, moving westward through what became known as the Black Prairie in search of gold and silver. He found the Mississippi River instead. DeSoto crossed the nearby Tombigbee River, which scarcely prepared him for the mighty Mississippi a few weeks later. George Bryan, the remarkably successful, West Point-born businessman, knows and appreciates the history of this place. His family came here in the 19th century, started a meat market that grew exponentially into Bryan Foods....

“Wee Willie” Heidelburg was USM’s 143-pound giant

This is the last of a six-part series about the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2016. JACKSON — Forty-six years have passed since Wee Willie Heidelburg jitterbugged into the end zone twice to help 50-point underdog Southern Miss defeat undefeated Ole Miss and Archie Manning 30-14 on the then-brand new Astroturf at Oxford. Young football fans today could scarcely imagine the scene that day. The crowd was all-white. The cheerleaders were all-white. The bands were all-white. The coaching staffs were all white. The players were all Caucasian, as...

Larry Smith: He epitomized Dave Whitney’s Alcorn Braves

Off the basketball court, Larry Smith is one of the nicest, most polite, and unassuming guys you would ever want to meet. On the floor, when he played for the Alcorn State Braves and with three teams in the NBA, Smith took on a different personality, entirely. “Mr. Mean,” was the nickname given to Smith as a freshman at Alcorn State by then-Alcorn sports information director Gus Howard. “Gus said every time he looked at me on the court I never smiled,” Smith says. “He said I always had a...

Kay James, a Hall of Fame coach, won big, made it fun

This is the fourth in a series about the inductees into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The record shows that Kay James won 403 games in 22 seasons (1977-99) as women's basketball coach at Southern Miss. She ranks in the top 25 all-time nationally among NCAA Division I coaches in victories and guided the Lady Eagles to 10 post-season bids. But even those gaudy statistics do not tell the story of her impact on Southern Miss or women's basketball — and certainly not on her players....

Wesley Walls, a rugged, five-time Pro Bowler, heads to Hall

Former Ole Miss All-American Wesley Walls, one of the last, great-two-way players in college football history and a five-time Pro Bowler in the National Football League, goes into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night. “I am humbled,” Walls said. “When you think about all the great athletes who have played sports in Mississippi and realize you are recognized as one of the elite, it is truly humbling.” Walls, from Pontotoc, was a high school quarterback and fullback but became a highly productive defensive end and tight end at...

Healthplex to host prep football media event Thursday

The Jackson Touchdown Club Presented by C Spire and the Madison Healthplex Performance Center will co-sponsor and host a special High School Football Metro Area Media Night Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Madison Healthplex Performance Center. Eight area high school football coaches and many of their players will be present. Each will provide an overview of their team's prospects and will be available for individual intervies. Coaches expected to attend include: Tyler Peterson, Brandon; Judd Boswell, Clinton; Tim Shramek, Germantown; Anthony Hart, Madison Central; Toby Collumn, Northwest Rankin;...